U mean the graph that shows difference between R2000DB and S-520?
It's a difference graph. Coz I don't have a calibrated mic. Also that is close mic at woofer, so ignore the treble.
One more thing, and perhaps most important:
The reason for the bad sound I heard was due to placement. I had the speakers on top of the S-520, so I was very badly off the vertical axis, plus I did not have boundary gain from the table. The off-axis caused the whole "far away" sound, and the table would have given it more midrange.
When I retested it one day in a normal position, the performance was nothing to complain.
This episode was the reason why I stopped doing the above/below thing in the reviews that followed.
The default backward-tilting positioning points the tweeter straight at the ear. So I tilted the speaker forward so that the drivers now point flat forward. This gives me the sound that I prefer.
Strangely, this does not show up in measurements, or at most a few dB differences in small places.
Lowering tweeter volume (shelf filter @ 2kHz) by a few dB while tilted back gives me the frequency response that I prefer, but it still sounds dead.
My hypothesis is that I prefer more reflected sound, so by having the tweeter not pointed directly at my ears, I get a higher percentage of reflected sound. If the tweeter is pointed at the ears, even if I reduce the treble, the quantity is correct but I have even less reflected sound.
Maybe big speakers "sound big" for the same reason, since they are bigger and radiate sound everywhere.
So here, the tilt backward vs tilt forward becomes a philosophical question. (Or a personal preference question.) Which is better, on-axis or off-axis? Personally, I believe in off-axis.
I did the entire measurement with the 65Hz anti-peaking room correction turned on. F*** me.
The more I measure close mic, the more I think it is not an accurate reflection of actual performance. It does give some additional info, like that bass port leakage in the mids, and that this bass port is very high-Q. Like, very peaky.
Do note that the port is at the back so actual SPL that you will hear in practice will be lower.
Table edge 0 degrees, tilted back
I measured with mic horizontal and mic higher (i.e. on tweeter axis) since this is a tilted back design. Interestingly does not show much of a diff.
Tilting it forward however does give it 1-2 dB more treble
Tilt back but 45 degrees off horizontal axis, mic level and mic higher
Table edge tilt back 0 deg vs 45 deg comparison
Tilt back vs tilt forward comparison at 45 deg
Pretty much identical
Actual table listening position, 45 degrees mic pointing at driver
Interestingly, my mic does not pick up any major differences between tilt forward vs tilt back, despite my ears seemingly hearing otherwise.
From top to bottom:
- Tilt back normal position 0deg near (mic at around table edge)
- Tilt back table edge 0deg
- Tilt back normal position 0deg far (mic at same pos as table edge measurement)
Listening position, mic cal 90 deg pointing up
As usual, I'm taking table edge as the most accurate representation of the speaker. Treble is, from 1kHz, a gentle smooth downward slope of around minus 2 to 3 dB. No shenanigans like any peak or shelf filter or cutting off too early unless you are very interested in 16kHz. It does have a peak at 14kHz which shows up with close mic.
Below 1kHz it is mostly flat if not slightly decreasing with volume as frequency decreases. Port peak 68Hz so it dies off very quickly past that. My room boost does give it more 65Hz boost however. In fact my room gives it too much boost that I need at least 10dB reduction. This does not get captured well on mic unfortunately.
All in all reflects what I hear pretty closely. Nothing much to say about the treble. Eye power estimates around 4dB variation with no sudden jumps for most of the frequency range. A tiny bit shortage of bass quantity, and the bass starts dying earlier than I would have liked, but that is quite typical for speakers of this size. Actually it is already doing pretty good for the size. And very good for the price.
I notice the sound quality improves when using Bluetooth as versus 3.5mm RCA connected to my computer. Would using an optical connection result in the same improvement? Or would I be better off buying a dedicated DAC (and fall in the rabbit hole...)
I doubt you can hear a difference between optical in and RCA in.
But the Bluetooth can sound different due to the way Bluetooth encodes the data.
Optical is still better than RCA but I won't pay extra money for it.
DAC is pointless for R2000DB because the data is converted back to digital before being sent to the amplifier anyway.
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