Search:
Submit Search


Speaker advice

Speakers, amplifiers, headphones, multi-channel audio, reverb units, mixers, wiring, ...

Speaker advice

Postby JulianMoney-Kyrle » Wed May 27, 2009 7:35 pm

I am currently using a Focusrite Saffire and a pair of Spirit by Soundcraft 4P active monitors. They sound fine when I am playing a single note, but as soon as I play more than one note there is some audible distortion. This takes the form of a slight loss of clarity in the high frequencies, and is more noticeable with a 2-foot stop or mixtures. When I swtich to headphones (AKG 701) this disappears, and the sound in general is much clearer and more natural (I mostly use the Bosh-Schnitger sample set). I am thinking that the problem may be harmonic distortion (though my understanding is that this is often more of a problem with lower frequencies) and therefore wondering whether the solution would be to add more speakers, perhaps 4 more (or even 6) with the manual pipes cycled, and the pedals routed through my existing 4P's. I am proposing to put the four new speakers on top of the console, facing me as I play (the existing ones are behind me and off to one side on a deep window sill, discreetly hidden behind the curtains), and I reckon I could put another pair on top of them without offending my wife too much.

Various Forum members have spoken highly of the Behringer Truth series, but there seem to be several models available. The B2030A's have 110W amplification and the B2031A's have 225W. The B3030A and B3031A seem to be the same but with ribbon tweeters instead of cones. Is the extra power worth the additional cost, and do the ribbon tweeters make any difference? The costs do mount up when you start to multiply everything by six, and I am thinking in future that I will want to add a sub-woofer, and perhaps more speakers for surround-sound, though I would need to get another Saffire (or another interface) to have more than 8 channels. I have to limit it to what my wife will find acceptible (one small speaker I think would be her ideal) and what I spend on speakers I won't have left for sample sets or (for that matter) home improvements.

Apart from Behringer, are there any other recommendations that are good value? Is what I am proposing the most cost-effective solution to achieve a realistic sound? Might it be sensible just to add one pair of additional speakers for the moment?

The organ room is approximately 4 x 5 metres in size, with a 3 metre ceiling. It has a wooden floor with a carpet in the middle, and wooden panelling two-thirds of the way up. There is a Chesterfield sofa and a chaise-longue. It is not particularly resonant in terms of acoustics. It doubles as our television room, and I don't think it should end up looking like a recording studio.
JulianMoney-Kyrle
Member
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:23 pm
Location: Calne, Wiltshire, UK

Re: Speaker advice

Postby wurlitzerwilly » Wed May 27, 2009 8:24 pm

JulianMoney-Kyrle wrote:I am currently using a Focusrite Saffire and a pair of Spirit by Soundcraft 4P active monitors. They sound fine when I am playing a single note, but as soon as I play more than one note there is some audible distortion. This takes the form of a slight loss of clarity in the high frequencies, and is more noticeable with a 2-foot stop or mixtures. When I swtich to headphones (AKG 701) this disappears, and the sound in general is much clearer and more natural (I mostly use the Bosh-Schnitger sample set). I am thinking that the problem may be harmonic distortion (though my understanding is that this is often more of a problem with lower frequencies) and therefore wondering whether the solution would be to add more speakers, perhaps 4 more (or even 6) with the manual pipes cycled, and the pedals routed through my existing 4P's. I am proposing to put the four new speakers on top of the console, facing me as I play (the existing ones are behind me and off to one side on a deep window sill, discreetly hidden behind the curtains), and I reckon I could put another pair on top of them without offending my wife too much.

Various Forum members have spoken highly of the Behringer Truth series, but there seem to be several models available. The B2030A's have 110W amplification and the B2031A's have 225W. The B3030A and B3031A seem to be the same but with ribbon tweeters instead of cones. Is the extra power worth the additional cost, and do the ribbon tweeters make any difference? The costs do mount up when you start to multiply everything by six, and I am thinking in future that I will want to add a sub-woofer, and perhaps more speakers for surround-sound, though I would need to get another Saffire (or another interface) to have more than 8 channels. I have to limit it to what my wife will find acceptible (one small speaker I think would be her ideal) and what I spend on speakers I won't have left for sample sets or (for that matter) home improvements.

Apart from Behringer, are there any other recommendations that are good value? Is what I am proposing the most cost-effective solution to achieve a realistic sound? Might it be sensible just to add one pair of additional speakers for the moment?

The organ room is approximately 4 x 5 metres in size, with a 3 metre ceiling. It has a wooden floor with a carpet in the middle, and wooden panelling two-thirds of the way up. There is a Chesterfield sofa and a chaise-longue. It is not particularly resonant in terms of acoustics. It doubles as our television room, and I don't think it should end up looking like a recording studio.

You could possibly put some speakers under a pair of occasional tables and use an accoustically inert material as a tablecloth. I have found that to work well in the past and to keep SWMBO happy. :)
I have used the Behringer 2031As in a real church situation. Four of them with a subwoofer, and they filled the building without distorting and then some. Obviously they had to be throttled back for the congergation. :wink:
I also use a pair at home for general VPO work and I can't fault them. My only criticism is that the earlier ones had an overall gain control, but the newer ones only have a 10dB pad, which makes setting up more difficult if you have to control gain elsewhere in the system.
I also find that pricewise you need to shop around. Best price so far in the UK is Digital Village at dv247.com although there may be a delay in delivery as they're not always in stock. Worst lead time has been about two weeks.
Regards,

Alan.
(Paramount Organ Works)
User avatar
wurlitzerwilly
Member
 
Posts: 934
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: South Coast, UK.

Re: Speaker advice

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Thu May 28, 2009 8:36 pm

[/quote]I have used the Behringer 2031As in a real church situation. Four of them with a subwoofer, and they filled the building without distorting and then some. Obviously they had to be throttled back for the congregation.

This is where I'm a little confused. These are near field monitors. I've been searching for speakers to use at a distance in my large room, but most of the ones mentioned here are near field. To tell you the truth I don't quite see what is different about them than mid or far field, particularly if they produce a high spl. Apparently these worked well in a far field situation.

Eric
Eric Sagmuller
Member
 
Posts: 879
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:18 pm
Location: Bellefonte, PA USA

Re: Speaker advice

Postby wurlitzerwilly » Thu May 28, 2009 9:09 pm

Eric Sagmuller wrote:This is where I'm a little confused. These are near field monitors. I've been searching for speakers to use at a distance in my large room, but most of the ones mentioned here are near field. To tell you the truth I don't quite see what is different about them than mid or far field, particularly if they produce a high spl. Apparently these worked well in a far field situation.

Eric

Hi Eric.
TBQH I don't worry about things like fields which seems to be a relatively new term. I've worked with audio, studios and PA for many years and prefer to go with what sounds right, rather than conform to spec. :)
Regards,

Alan.
(Paramount Organ Works)
User avatar
wurlitzerwilly
Member
 
Posts: 934
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: South Coast, UK.

Re: Speaker advice

Postby solotibia » Sun May 31, 2009 10:31 pm

Nearfield means to listen within the triangulated field prescribed with two monitors facing you at a diagonal that does not usually exceed 1.5m from the face of the speaker. Indeed, usually around 1m from the face of the speakers. Nearfield monitoring is used so that one can hear 'into' a mix with the highest possible resolution.

The deployment of nearfield speakers like the B2031A (I use 16 of them) in a VPO context is very different. The reason that they work is due to their prodigious output. From a neutrality standpoint they are a bit fat in the mid bass and the treble is definitely not that smooth (for monitoring). Their use in a VPO is also not quite the same as listening to a speaker in the farfield, or just outside a triangulated space (like a high end stereo setup with speakers approx. 2.5m or more apart) as indeed, you may need to reflect the output of the B2031As in order to create that pipe 'illusion'. So, having a bit too much treble and mid-bass (all of which can be tamed by controls on the speaker, what you place them on, distance from the wall, and within HW) can often be a plus over a more neutral speaker.

With regard to which model of Behringer, I would recommend the speaker with the deepest reach into the bass, as this will provide you with greater flexibility, and less cost as they will most likely require less subwoofers. Not only that, but you don't want to have to send too much mid bass to a sub which speakers with smaller bass drivers will force you do on some ranks.

Even though the smoother treble of the ribbon tweeter version should be better for nearfield monitoring over the quite searing treble of the B2031A (in nearfield applications), ribbon tweeters are not as robust, and might prove to be not quite as suitable for the VPO application. However, there is only one way to find out! Based on my experience with ribbon drivers, I have not purchased any 3031s. However, I have had no hesitation in owning even full range ribbon speakers for my stereo systems over the years.

Choice of speaker (like most things) is always application driven.

Ian McLean
User avatar
solotibia
Member
 
Posts: 234
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:15 am
Location: Noosa Heads, Australia

Re: Speaker advice

Postby wurlitzerwilly » Sun May 31, 2009 11:17 pm

solotibia wrote:Nearfield means to listen within the triangulated field prescribed with two monitors facing you at a diagonal that does not usually exceed 1.5m from the face of the speaker. Indeed, usually around 1m from the face of the speakers. Nearfield monitoring is used so that one can hear 'into' a mix with the highest possible resolution.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Ian McLean

Hi Ian, thanks for that.

I was at Worthing today in a 2000 seat auditorium and along with the WurliTzer they used an Allen classical model. They had eight to ten bins along the back of the stage and with Carlo Curley at the controls, it all sounded pretty convincing without any noticeable distortion.

The roadies whipped them away as soon as the concert ended, so I didn't get a close examination. Shame they didn't put a theatre model up against the WurliTzer. :(

I presume the speakers will be proprietary to Allen, but I just wonder what drive units they might use?
Regards,

Alan.
(Paramount Organ Works)
User avatar
wurlitzerwilly
Member
 
Posts: 934
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: South Coast, UK.

Re: Speaker advice

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:26 am

Thanks for the near field explanation. What I was actually wondering though is what is different in the design of the speakers themselves to make them near field? I have built various designs for stereo use and if one looks at the drivers for sale, they never seem to specify if they are particularly for near field use. I assume it has something to do with the dispersion characteristics.

I'm think now my best bet is to have the sound bounce off of my walls. I had purposely made them extra dense over 1" thick plus plaster for my pipe organ. I think this will aid in reflecting the sound nicely.
Eric Sagmuller
Member
 
Posts: 879
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:18 pm
Location: Bellefonte, PA USA

Re: Speaker advice

Postby toplayer2 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:52 am

Adding to Ian's comments regarding near field positioning, some monitors (eg., Mackie HR824) include a control for adjusting a low frequency shelf to equalize the effects of placing the monitor in a corner (quarter space), against a wall (half space) or free standing (whole space). "Studio" monitors that do no include this type of control are probably assumed to be placed free standing and will sound tubby if placed near boundaries.

Free standing placement of the monitor will produce sound that is more decoupled from the room's acoustics, which may or may not be desirable. If you have a large room with fine acoustics, then you will want to take advantage of this fact. More often, VPOs are situated in smaller rooms. Here, it makes sense to damp the room's acoustics as much as possible and then create the illusion of space with either wet sampled organs or a convolver.

Accurate active monitors are my second favorite choice for VPO applications. My first choice is to use true dipoles (e.g., Magneplanar, Martin Logan) which radiate in a figure 8 pattern and thus excite room modes less. The biggest disadvantage is they are often very large and take up a lot of space.

Joe Hardy
User avatar
toplayer2
Member
 
Posts: 1053
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:15 pm
Location: Michigan, USA


Return to Amplification

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest