The downside to multiple pairs of speakers in one room

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by z-adamson, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I simply don't like how it looks with speakers not in use around.
     
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  2. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    One thing I have learned in this hobby Linn has said a lot of :bs: over the years. Generally their :bs:is always to try and benefit their bottom line :deal: All the while selling prosumer equipment at high end equipment prices.

    Linn always throws :bs: out into the market to try and hurt their competition. They have said a bunch of stuff over the years about other tables that consistently beat them in test. Their prices have always put them in a class of tables that are far superior to the LP12.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    As an English teenage boy at an all male school, I was no stranger to b*llsh*t:. Let's face it, at my school everyone claimed to have seen top bands live, claimed to have tried drugs and claimed to have enjoyed sexual encounters at the nearby girls' skool, and these activities were obviously the products of fertile imaginations rather than fertile loins. Hence, the hyperbole expounded in this Scotsman's refreshingly original sales-line was equally obvious.

    So musicality, Linn and the PRaT argument had some credence for me and my circle of music & audio freaks in that adolescent time of fanatical enthusiasm, but what did it mean?

    During the years 1974-1978 I heard the term PRaT defined in a variety of ways by various shop sales-people, manufacturer distribution representatives or hifi journalists. In the earliest days only the folk involved, one way or another, with Linn or Naim (or latterly, Pink Triangle or Exposure) mentioned the elusive and as yet unmeasurable parameters involved in PRaT, which was obviously an acronym...
    so what does the 'P' stand for?
    Well now it is universally accepted to represent
    P for PACE,
    but back in the day it was also described as
    P for PITCH

    Linn made much of the ability of their turntable (then their sole audio product, although their reps described an experimental loudspeaker that turned out to be the 'brik) to maintain accurate pitch compared to their competition. One of their key claims to superiority over their many rivals was the capacity of a Linn LP12 to maintain better dynamic pitch stability, compared to other turntables of that period. They argued that during heavily modulated passages, the demand for more stylus deflection (to generate more electrical in the stylus/coil motor assembly of the cartridge) created more drag against the turntable platter rotation. So PITCH was a big deal at that time among that fraternity who would later be termed 'flat earth'.
     
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  3. Todd Dodds

    Todd Dodds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Good post! Did I understand you correctly, that in a blind, curtained test an English schoolboy couldn't distinguish between a lass from the girl's school and his classmate's bum? Well, it's pretty much the same here in North Carolina, except we don't have girl's schools. We have cows.
     
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  4. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Some people insist on free-range meats. I don't care so much about that, but I do look for the unmolested tag when purchasing steak from my grocer.
     
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  5. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

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    PRaT NOW is:
    1. Pace, Rhythm and Timing
    2. could have been: Pitch, Rhythm and Timing
    3. could also have been: Pace, Rhythm and Tune
    4. but never Pitch Rhythm and Tune, to my knowledge http://www.tnt-audio.com/edcorner/prat_e.html
    The above is from an interesting short article at TNT Audio. The significant thing about that article is the author's claim that some people can simply be impervious to specific musical attributes such as pitch or rhythm, and he relates his own struggle to regain his sense of rhythm following a brain injury (and in the process learned to value other things, such as timbre, tonal accuracy and low colouration). There are many aspects to music, and some of the basic elements are pace, rhythm, dynamics, melody, and harmony. Jeff Day of 6 Moons also notes that for many, what he calls "the non-musical sonic artifacts of the recording process like soundstaging, transparency, imaging and extreme detail recovery" are also very important criteria in making equipment choices and can greatly impact their pleasure in music listening. Hifi equipment varies in its ability to faithfully convey these various musical and sonic attributes, and each component's or system's particular mix of strengths and weaknesses will be seen as favorable or less favorable to different listeners, who each have their own ideas on what is most important in making music listening enjoyable.

    It seems clear in this, and in many past threads, that some hobbyists don't value or don't hear differences in a system's strengths with regard to pace, rhythm, and timing, but it's nice that we can all audition and assemble systems that suit our own needs without castigating the values and choices of others, being gracious enough to live and let live.
     
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  6. Pimpsta763

    Pimpsta763 New Member

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    I have been a lurker on this forum for some time now. I do believe there is some merit to this theory. There have always been two set of speakers in my living room for some time. The KEF104/2 and Klipsch KLF20 lately. There have been others but the KEF’s always stayed. The KEF’s always sounded thin, no bass but always sounded different with each change. The KEF’s were recaped about 8 months ago. I was almost ready to shelf them to the basement for another day. Tonight I removed the KLF20’s. and WOW they sound so much better with extended bottom end and fuller sound. Since the KEF have been rebuild I thought they would sound great. I have a second pair of 104/2’s that were in a different room and they always sounded great, they also have been recaped and donuts replaced. They both have rubber surrounds. Thinking i will just leave the KEF's in there spots and enjoy them just alittle longer. Thanks
     

     

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  7. darkblue94

    darkblue94 It wasn't me. Subscriber

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    Do you use the KEF KUBE EQ designed for your 104/2 KEF's? It does make a noticeable and measurable difference indeed.
     
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  8. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    Well there's a difference between not valuing PRT and not believing that Linn does the best for PRT. my experience suggests that the better known old r
    Idler decks also do a tremendous job with timing, and that high efficiency drivers can have a great sense of small rhythmic details. But again, it's not Linn kit
     
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  9. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

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    PRaT is, of course, three different things that are all related to the temporal qualities of music. I think the LP12 does all three pretty well, but different turntables I've heard do some things better than Linn; for example, I thought my Well Tempered was better at pace, the upper Regas better at rhythm, and the Roksan Xerxes better at timing. Other than an ancient Dual, I've never heard an idler-driven turntable, so maybe I'm missing out on something there.

    Back to speakers, the Mark Wheeler article I referred to earlier also mentions speakers with multiple drivers as being problematic:

    "The most sinful adulterers of timing tend to be multi-way loudspeakers. One glance at the phase graph of a single drive unit would suggest this is already a problem for 1 driver, but combine 2 drive units with a crossover whose filter is derived by phase shift and we realise how tough a task it really is to make music in the home."

    Personally, I've always rather enjoyed 2-way designs, more so than 3-way speakers, anyway, but I wonder if more exposure to single driver speakers would prove a revelation in this regard.

    When it comes to extra, undriven speakers in your listening room, there is an interesting article at Stereophile, with Bill Sommerwerck debunking the idea of re-radiated energy on page one, while on page two Alvin Gold writes that extra transducers in the room cause a "particularly insidious" effect in the form of "a loss of pitch and timing integrity."
    https://www.stereophile.com/content/controversy-single-speaker-dem-myth

    In any event, the OP is well equipped to simply experiment for himself and see if having extra speakers in the room causes an audible problem for him.

    edit: I had the wrong link to the Stereophile article (that site's automatic link was to page 2 rather than page 1), and I'll add that Alvin Gold also mentions that he knows of "one dealer who inserts a wire shorting link into all loudspeakers not in use".
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  10. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    Each speaker you add is like an opening to the out side world. Every room has what known as room gain. It helps speakers reach to the lower octaves. If the room has openings or holes in the walls then it changes the room gain curve. It also changes the response of the the speaker in the room. The more speakers you have in a room the more irregularities you are going to have in the room acoustics and to the final signal you hear. Now if all your inactive speakers are highly inefficient with critically damped cones, the issue won't be severe as having larger woofers with resonant cones that are highly efficient. What you have is very unpredictable. It might be fun to have a FFT analyzer and see the differences. Try shorting all your inactive speakers to restrict woofer cone movement. See if you can hear a difference. I doubt it as the unused cones are such a small percentage of the surface area of the room.
     
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  11. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is the relative surface area of those unused woofer cones compared to the entire wall and floor surface of the room. Of course woofer cones act quite differently from wall and floor surfaces, no doubt about that. But if they make up, say, 1% of the total surface area, how much of an effect will the movement of those cones have, really? They can't draw in (or re-release) more than the ambient acoustic power per square foot that's hitting them. It's not like they suck in bass from all over the room - they absorb only what hits them. And let's keep in mind that all the other materials in the room are absorbing energy at their own rate and vibrating themselves.

    I would think the volume and shape and placement of the cabinets would have much more of an effect on things, compared to not having any 'stuff' in the room.

    I will admit that placement could be critical if the unused speaker is very close to an active one - just because the acoustic power is much higher there, and the unused speaker may be a 'first reflector.'

    Of course this is all theoretical on my part so it's worth exactly one hill of beans.
     
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  12. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

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    I think you missed Twiii's last few sentences in the post just above yours (and posted two hours earlier):

    "Try shorting all your inactive speakers to restrict woofer cone movement. See if you can hear a difference. I doubt it as the unused cones are such a small percentage of the surface area of the room."
     
  13. triode17

    triode17 Super Member

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    Is this a joke? If not, it seems ridiculous. Sure the non-working cones will vibrate sympathetically, but not to a degree of producing or aiding the sound of the others. Come on now. A little bit of knowledge...
     
  14. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    It might seem cut and dry to you, but this thread is evidence that the topic does warrant more discussion than "are you kidding"?
     
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  15. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Someone mentioned having five pairs of unused speakers in the room with another pair making music. I assume you will agree that it takes energy to move all those cones. How many woofers might be in five pair of speakers? Do you really think that has no effect on sound? And they can't all be vibrating in synchrony, either. Lag time based on distance from source and mechanical response.... well, no effect at all? Gotta be some wasted power, too.
     
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  16. Todd Dodds

    Todd Dodds AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I decided to get all scientific about this topic.
    My hypothesis: If I fire up all the normally unused speakers out of phase to the main subject speakers, using separate amps, they should counter and cancel or neutralize any pressure effects.
    Conclusion: Tripped breaker, lost interest and went to watch a Masterpiece Theatre show about Queen Victoria...with the hottest little Victoria I've ever seen.
     
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  17. zebra03

    zebra03 All Audio - NO BS

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    Never been a downside to me . I prefer 2 pair .
     
  18. lini

    lini just me...

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    Honestly, if I'd begin to worry about the influence of the other speakers in my room on those that I use, I'd deem myself en route to audiophilia nervosa, 'cause then I'd consequently also have to worry about the acoustic influence of anything else in the room, too.

    Greetings from Munich!

    Manfred / lini
     
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  19. darkblue94

    darkblue94 It wasn't me. Subscriber

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    Actually a hill of beans commands a pretty nice chunk of change these days, how much is dependent on the variety of bean of course. :biggrin:
     
  20. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    This^^^
    While it's not the greatest thing to have you listening space all cluttered with extra gear, we can reach a point of being anal. Then at what point do we think about what our presence in that room does the the acoustics? I only ware cotton clothing because polyester reflects too much.:rolleyes:
     
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