A resolving loudspeaker

December 26, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

14 comments on “A resolving loudspeaker”

  1. I really wonder, Paul, why you so often use the analogy between a music signal changing in time (most dynamic transients) and the photo of a still camera. Shouldn’t you better compare the recorded music and its degree of resolution with a video which too often let us see a smeared picture for quick camera penning or speedy movements when the monitor is working only with 60Hz? And if measurements of a loudspeaker don’t tell anything about its capabilities for resolution shouldn’t you better judge the combination of both the power amp and the loudspeaker when looking for “resolution”? What if you have a source signal with the highest resolution (an Octave DSD recording played via a PS Audio DSD-transport and DS-DAC) but the amp or preamp lacks resolution?

  2. If, like me, most of the music that you enjoy listening to was recorded during the 1965 to 1990 era, then there is a limit as to how resolving you want your loudspeakers, or indeed your whole home audio rig to be.
    I would have to say that I’m very much satisfied with my current home audio rig & the way the loudspeakers, that I bought a month ago, seem to pull so much detail out of those ‘old’ recordings without exposing too many of the analogue ‘faults’ of yesteryear’s recording processes.

  3. Be careful what you ask for.
    I chased speaker resolution for years — in 3-way towers. I owned three sets of well-reviewed, expensive 3-way speakers that could resolve like demons, but never sounded right — even in different rooms and in a million different positions. They always sounded “off” or disjointed. Everything changed when I took a chance on dual concentric — Tannoy Cheviots. This is ancient speaker technology. But for the same $$ it revolutionized what my ears/brain heard. More dynamics, more dispersion, more unity in the sound without sacrificing soundstage. More “REAL.” Like night and day. This likely has something to do with my ears and brain. I have heard others with the same experience theorize that some of us are more sensitive to phase and timing issues inherent in 3-ways. I also believe 3-ways are harder to position correctly. There are many wonderful speaker manufacturers based on dual concentric.
    Bottom line is — ‘speaker resolution’ is only one of many speaker performance criteria. Sometimes we only hear a tree and miss the forest.

  4. I had a friend, Murray Zeligman, who among other things designed speakers and he used the term, INFORMATION, which I suspect means the same thing a resolution but implies all types of information, harmonics, balance, details, imaging, etc. I like it for one term to describe all the things a listener is looking for in a speaker.

  5. My NHT 2.9 speakers are very resolving. So are many others. They are not as effortless as the IRSV but nonetheless very resolving and musically accurate. Effortless sound at any volume level are what speakers like the IRSV have and that is a very important thing to have but there are speakers at least as resolving and excel in areas the IRSV cannot. Smaller two way highly resolving speakers or many other mid sized speakers cannot do what the IRSV can do but they can surpass the IRSV in other areas.

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