Speakers suggestions with Arcam SA30

My MA Gold 100 for comparison:

BTW flat/ neutral is not something most people is looking for. In theory this is ideal, in practice for many people it will sound dull. Depends on personal taste, room and preferred music.

I have the 705 S2’s and don’t need to use DIRAC but I have carpets and lots of soft furnishings. I spoke to a DIRAC specialist last year and he said for stereo it’s best to only apply DIRAC to frequency’s below about 40-45Hz.

40-45? Quite many speakers are not even going so low :slight_smile:
For me that’s bulls hokey (as colonel Potter used to say).
In majority of normal houses I would say it’s more like 200-300Hz.
But there’s too many variables. I’m using it for full spectrum and find it better, than when limiting it to 500Hz (usual recommendation), not too mention not using Dirac at all.
Everyone should judge by their ears. This is why we are doing it after all. Not to blindly follow someone’s recommendations or measurements. We’re doing this so we can listen to music and enjoy it.
If in your room DL is not needed, good for you. You have much wider choice of devices :slight_smile:
I need it very much due to room layout and design, and for me it works best when correcting full spectrum.

Apologies.I re read the email. I got the numbers wrong In fact I’ve copied and pasted below.

“ Digital room correction is most effective at solving low frequency problems. Dirac Live includes a slider to control the upper and lower limits of its filtering. You might want to try setting its upper limit to somewhere between 250Hz and 400Hz, depending on the size of your room (lower for a larger room and higher for a smaller room). That way you can use Dirac Live to tackle the worst effects of the room without changing the character of your speakers too much.”

Only, if you use the right ones :rofl:

The only measurements that matter is when it’s in room:

Again, the Focal Aria 906 is an excellent example of a Harman curve in room:

[https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?attachments/focal-aria-906-bookshelf-stand-mount-speaker-spinorama-cea2034-predicted-in-room-response-fre-png.68877/ ]

Likewise the Focal (JMLabs) 816S displays similar characteristics in room but are definitely better speakers than the Aria model.

Dynaudios are okay - do they make there own drivers or do they just buy some off-the shelf items like PMC?

I’m not sure that any of my reference speaker company list (Focal/Revel/Kef/Neumann/Genelec) use AMT/Ribbon, which probably isn’t a great indication of their capability.

Note, I might be a bit biased towards Focal, as it’s great that a company designs and engineers the whole loudspeaker which is quite rare.

…Revel are catching my eye though, look at the Revel M106 in room response:


I’m with Felix on this one, Dirac the whole frequency range of your speakers but be careful not to boost the dips too much or you may run into amplifier issues.

Especially don’t overboost the low frequencies beyond your speakers capabilities or you’ll overdrive your bass units.

It is vital that you take measurements across the listening points that you listen in, so that the Dirac output resembles the Harman curve or whatever target you prefer.

I can’t use DIRAC with the latest firmware anyway because I cannot control the master volume within the software and it will only work on the PVR input as well. It seems I’m alone with this but it’s not a hardware fault because if I roll back to V705 it works perfectly. When there is another firmware upgrade I may give it another go though.

No need to apologize :slight_smile:

And that’s the key here. DL can help in case of higher frequencies, but using one of the standard curves will flatten the response, thus “killing” speakers natural sound.
But if you create your own curve, following speakers natural response, you can have both - DL correcting what’s needed, and keep natural sound of your speakers.
But (2) you can also do what I did, and “test” other speakers, by creating curve, that is mimicing their response. Tired of your speakers sound? Or bought something not in your taste? Try something else…
Actually I think it’s one of the reasons some people say room correction is “killing the music”. They usually use standard curve, which in fact can kill it.
Following speakers natural response, and not trying to fill in the dips (especially in low end) by more than 5db are actually good recommendations I’m following and can recommend others.
Filling in the dips to much can lead to distortion, as speaker is trying hard to play something, it cannot. It’s basically pushing speakers beyond their limits (unless you only listen on low volume levels, than it should be more or less ok).

Nope. Only OBJECTIVE speaker measurements are in anechoic chamber.
In room response depends on the… room. So it will be different for everyone of us, thus making it subjective :wink:
It’s elemental my dear Watson :wink:
And again - ASR is not an “oracle” in any way. Not for me anyway. I do check it sometimes, but am certainly not making any conclusions based on that.
Dynaudio makes their own speakers. Very good ones.
I know it was not measured by ASR, but I guess Sonus Faber Extrema rings a bell. They used Dynaudio Esotar tweeters, if that’s any recommendation for you.

Glad I’m not bound by YOUR (or ASR’s?) “reference speaker list” :slight_smile:
More and more companies use AMT. This technology been patented by Heil, and only recently patent protection ended, so others can use it. Monitor Audio, Martin Logan, Audiovector, Elac use them, to name just few companies.
To bad ASR didn’t measure them, as maybe than they would be on your list? :rofl:
I like Focal, but am not biased, and know their “flaws”. There’s many others who make their speakers from a to z. Again Monitor Audio, Dynaudio, B&W, Elac, Heco, Quad to name just few. There are also the ones, that design the drivers, but outsource manufacturing to I.e. SB Acoustics.
So no, Focal is in no way exception here…
You can find some very interesting drivers in Monitor Audio Gold and Platinum series. Especially sandwich woofers/midwoofers are interesting, with their mechanical filter tech. Try to google it…
Piece of advice from me - world doesn’t end on ASR :wink:

Isn’t the standard Dirac curve, the Harman curve?

If it is, for the majority of people with normal hearing, it will be the best target.

For those that aren’t aware, the Harman target curve came about from thousands and thousands of blind listening tests from the Harman Group of audio companies. It found that an elevated low frequency response slightly reducing in level through to the treble region was preferred across the tests.

Yes, but as far as I know this curve was made more for home cinema, where a bit different curve is needed, than for stereo.
Please compare that curve with your Focals for example.

I have shown the Focal Aria 906 in room response twice.

It is the Harman curve, before you add any Dirac. Here it is again:

[https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?attachments/focal-aria-906-bookshelf-stand-mount-speaker-spinorama-cea2034-predicted-in-room-response-fre-png.68877/ ]

The Focal speakers have very little alteration from above 150Hz using Dirac and Harman target curve.

We are focussing on the wrong objective measurements though.

Dirac can correct speakers frequency response, which is something the Focal’s don’t need but it doesn’t lower any speakers harmonic distortion or transient response.

…and that is why we will never agree.

If you had any experience in Software, Firmware, Electronics Engineering, Mathematics or Physics, you would realise that requirements, specifications are everything to achieve technical excellence.

audiosciencereview has started something that actually improves audio and engineering excellence and removes the subjectivity.

Specifications are everything,

The funny thing is, I used to think like you over 20 years ago but I experienced real life engineering, not fantasy land, plagued with subjectivity.

If you are confident about your speakers being better than that from Focal/Revel/Kef/Neumann/Genelec, submit them to Amir at audio science review and let’s see the objective measurements:-)

Go to the the symphony. Go to clubs for live music. Go to college or high school concerts. Listen and notice what gives you goose bumps. Listen to what grabs you and makes you cry, forget your problems, forget your past, remember your past… then find stereo gear that does this to your ear brain reality . Forget specs, forget price, it means nothing. Find the gear that moves you, the rest is just gear for other people. Specs are for engineers, music is for your heart.


I do have enough experience and knowledge. And I know, there is a huge difference between specifications and ASR limited set of measurements.
You still haven’t answered my question I asked long time ago - which parameters are important for stereo imaging? And where I can find measurements for those in ASR?
Come on, you’re I pro, you have to know that.
You have a great chance to prove me wrong…
About knowledge and experience. I know a guy, who is running a small manufacture of high end gear in Poland. He’s gear is playing around the world, including house of the owner of one of the biggest RAM modules, SSD drives and memory sticks. This guy used to be professor of electronics in one of the best Polish technical universities. And guess how he tunes the devices. Yep, by ear. And it sounds amazing.
Do you think he lacks knowledge and experience?..

I said Dirac is limited by technical limitations of your speakers.
But it does more, than just correcting frequency response.
I will not go into details. You can find info on the web. As a pro you will understand everything better than me. Maybe than come back and tell us what Dirac does…

What they have started is community of people, that listen to music with their… eyes, that are reading measurements.
All major manufacturers were always measuring their devices in design process. But also quite many audio press titles were measuring the devices during their reviews.
But in case of press reviews measurements were addition to listening. In case of ASR measurements are the only goal.
ASR doesn’t improve anything, as audio industry was already doing the same. What ASR does, is gives some people false idea about the devices and hope, that 2k amp will sound the same or even better than 50k amp. Just cause it has same or higher SINAD.

You are confusing designing a plane, where “real life engineering” is extremely important, so the plane doesn’t kill hundreds of people, with audio, which is closer to art. You’re supposed to enjoy music, feel emotions and have goosebumps while listening. If you get that from technically perfect device, or one that doesn’t measure well doesn’t really matter, as long as goal is achieved.
And to be honest for some reason I rarely had goosebumps when listening to devices based purely on measurements, with flat response etc.
You sound like a guy, who just quit smoking, and is now giving other smokers much harder, than anyone else :slight_smile:

I couldn’t care less for Amirm’s measurements, sorry. I don’t need his approval stamp. You need it.
My speakers were measured by someone else already (you can find it above). But I guess the fact, that it was not made by Amirm makes it not objective for you. But that’s only your problem, not mine.

What room? Your? Mine? Amirm’s? Some ideal listening room?
In every room it will sound different due to reflection, diffraction and room modes.

Read what @Ken wrote and think about it…


oh so this is turning into a wankoff between nerds. bye

@Turkleton sorry for that :frowning:

If you designed a speaker based, just on an anechoic chamber measurements, you would be ignoring how sound actually reaches your ears as the amount of reflection you get off walls/room is enormous.

An anechoic chamber is eerily quiet and you would be quite ill if you spent any amount of time in one. You can hear your heart beat, pulses going around your body, your stomach gurgling, breathing is pronounced and you will feel like you have tinnitus, as the noise level is so low and because all sounds are absorbed you speak and it just sounds wrong and this is because none of us (fortunately) live in an anechoic chamber.

The most important measurement of all is transient response of your speaker and shows how a particular frequency starts and stop - the so called waterfall diagram. A speaker is by far the weakest link and is no where near the top end sources and amplifiers in terms of performance.

I can’t imagine many Engineers or Scientists (I have not met one and have worked with 1000’s) not believing that specifications and objective measurements will determine how something performs.

For those that want the absolute best sound, rely on objective measurements and audio science review is your friend, taking all subjectivity out of the discussion.

For anybody that is offended by this, all I can say is that I am trying to help.

I have designed many digital circuits with high end FPGAs, CPLDs, DSP and DAC chips and worked in both Radar and Electroacoustic environments and am just trying to pass on some pretty special information.

You make assumptions, not knowing who I am, what I know and what I do. Nice. Let’s keep it this way.
I know what anechoic chamber is, you don’t have to tell me that. And I know this is only really objective way of measuring the speakers.
Good engineer is able to design good sounding speakers based on that. But they do more - they listen. Yes, they measure and listen. Then improve something and again measure and listen. And so on. Until they are happy with… the sound, not the curve.
I also know 1000’s of engineers, so what? I gave one example of a guy, about whom you cannot say he doesn’t know what he’s doing. And you’re telling me you know 1000’s of engineers… How many of them work in high end audio?
ASR is not taking subjectivity out of equation. Instead it adds errors made by Amirm.
Don’t know what you have designed, the same as you don’t know what I have designed. But you still haven’t answer my question, which should be really easy to a pro like you.
I rest my case and stop spamming this thread.

@Turkleton again sorry for this off topic.

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I own a pair of Mackie HR824’s. Very accurate measuring speakers. I used them to mix down my Tascam TSR 8, eight track reel to reel to 2 track 24/96, then ripped the cd’s from that. Back in the day when I had a little blues band. But when I finished a mix, I always checked it on my high end stereo, which at that time was Sonus Faber Amati’s. And I listened to it on as many car stereos as I could. Then I made some adjustments and ripped again. You would never want IMO, to mix music with speakers made for home stereo . And you don’t want to listen to music for entertainment with studio monitors. You will not relax and enjoy the music, instead you will pick apart the music as you will hear every bloody problem in the mix. Microphones… another tool. Some measure dead perfect. I own a set of Earthworks that are amazingly flat. Great for recording direct to 2 track an orchestra. But bad choice to record a voice. You find a mic that complements their voice. When picking home speakers, you find a set that compliments the room you are in, and your ears, which are different than mine. You know when you find the right set, you are drawn into the music and forget about the gear. If you think the perfect measuring set is the one for you, get studio monitors. But my guess in a few months you will be watching allot of TV and not listening to your music. Dirac is amazing, it helps tame a room, but it does not make all speakers sound the same. Not to my ears anyway.