New Bookshelf speaker advice

Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Junior Audioholic
Funny thing... Most speaker designers I've chatted with don't seem to see any difference between an overnight run with 1w of pink noise, or 16 nights... In fact, several tests show that the "warm up" is very short lived, and that the effect on the TS Parameters is so minor as to be not worth the cost of electricity or labor. Rather a few hours of loosening a driver up is all it takes, after that...

It's all in the ears of the beholder.

Speaker break-in is all about LISTENER BREAK IN. It is your ears getting used to the sound.

From a tested technical standpoint, the drivers do not change in any significant manner.
There's certainly been exhaustive discussions and tests, a good one right here (AGH! has it been 15 years??!?).

I know that Harmon Kardon for one says no break in required for any speaker in their family.
"As far as "breaking in" the loudspeakers, this should have no effect on the performance or sound quality of the speaker; unfortunately this one of the many audiophile myths that, in most cases, has little scientific merit. Of course, over time, you may perceive the speakers have changed or improved because you may have adapted to their sound. That is a psychological effect that is not related to any physical change to the loudspeaker itself." Dr. Sean Olive, Senior Mgr Acoustic Research, Harmon International

Buchardt says 200 hours. My B+W's and Maggies sounded the same out of the box as they did 2 years later. My Thiels sounded great out of the box, yet about 6 months later, the bass coming out of them had drastically improved. Almost like somebody flicked a switch. That was a pretty easy tell. Less of an easy tell was the tweeter was sweeter, perhaps only because of the change on the bottom end? I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. What does seem odd is hearing a change weeks or months afterwards, not just hours.

It makes perfect sense that some materials loosen up over time (hours or days), while others don't change a bit. Focal used to claim a break-in period was necessary (not sure if they do). One Focal review in Stereophile stated that Audio Plus Services plays the speakers in a soundproof bunker to give them a partial break-in.

Since my Kanta's already had a few weeks of playing on them, I can't tell you definitively. TBH, I'm not sorry I'm not listening for subtle changes. And, if they sounded like crap out of the box then I also know that's what I'm stuck with! No hope for a reprieve. I just go by reviews of Focal speakers in general, which uniformly point to longer than usual break in. But audio reviewers need to justify their existence, so there's always that...

Of course, there's always that crazy comb filter effect. I've never decided if my system needs to play for about an hour to suddenly start sounding amazing, or if it's my ears having become accustomed to picking out the important parts and ignoring others. I lean towards the former, since if I let it play while I'm doing chores in other parts of the house and then sit down, it sounds fantastic right away. The joys of audio, if you can't measure it, it doesn't exist. Alternately, if you can measure it, you're wrong! :D
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
My Thiels sounded great out of the box, yet about 6 months later, the bass coming out of them had drastically improved. Almost like somebody flicked a switch. That was a pretty easy tell. Less of an easy tell was the tweeter was sweeter, perhaps only because of the change on the bottom end? I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. What does seem odd is hearing a change weeks or months afterwards, not just hours.
I have a problem with this because we know that auditory memory in humans is very, very fleeting. Unless you measured how can you possibly reliably remember what they sounded like 6 months ago?
 
Gryph

Gryph

Audioholic
Great choice, congrats.
The 906 is a really nice speaker, mine are a piano white pair which also have that same superb fit and finish to go with the fantastic sound they produce.
I have the Focal’s on my A channel with Canton’s on the B side, so feel I’ve got the sound signature I like pretty well covered with these two brands.
I do have an HSU ULS-15 arriving Monday which I expect will take the setup to the next level and I’ll be weighing the need for a second one.
Look forward to seeing your setup all buttoned up and your take on it with more time listening with it all done.

 
Gryph

Gryph

Audioholic
Refresh my memory!
Which Cantons are those?
Vento 876?
Yes, 876.

With the subwoofer integration I’ll move the Vento 876’s to my HT setup with one of the 826’s as the center channel and give the HSU ULS-15 a try along side the Focal’s.

And my Vento 826 when I had tried them in 2.0 mode.



Initial sub testing,

 
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Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Yes, 876.

With the coming subwoofer integration I may move the 876’s to my HT setup with the 826’s and give a pair of Canton Reference 9.2’s a try along side the Focal’s.

And my Vento 826 when I had tried them in 2.0 mode.
You're making me jelly! :p

There's nothing I love more than a room full of hi end speakers.

I think my ultimate audio fantasy would be if the laws of physics worked in such a way that comb filtering wasn't a thing and adding more and more pairs of speakers to a system would ALWAYS be an improvement. I'd have so many frickin' speakers in my room... oh man, it'd be bad, ha ha!
 
Gryph

Gryph

Audioholic
You're making me jelly! :p

There's nothing I love more than a room full of hi end speakers.

I think my ultimate audio fantasy would be if the laws of physics worked in such a way that comb filtering wasn't a thing and adding more and more pairs of speakers to a system would ALWAYS be an improvement. I'd have so many frickin' speakers in my room... oh man, it'd be bad, ha ha!
Well then you know how I felt when you bought the Ultra stand mounts and then the Towers
Now space and money are the only two things in my way, of your dream
But no A+B listening for me, though it’s nice to have speaker choices at the flick of switch as it sits now. That would likely have to change a little if I go for a second subwoofer

A4L is killing me though at the moment as I’ve been waiting for the White Canton Reference 9.2’s to come back in stock and just when they did all the ref 9.2’s jumped up $300 a pair so I’ll be waiting for them to go on sale again before I purchase and might just pick up a second HSU sub in the mean time and at that point I’d likely be good with the Focal’s and the Vento 826’s in this room for a good while.
 
Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Junior Audioholic
I have a problem with this because we know that auditory memory in humans is very, very fleeting. Unless you measured how can you possibly reliably remember what they sounded like 6 months ago?
The only speaker I've owned where I felt there was any sort of break in/change taking place was the Thiels, and again, just the bass. In this particular case (again, only my Thiels) it wasn't what I thought I heard, but what they were actually doing to the room. (my old raised wood floor bungalow) Things were vibrating that hadn't on the same material before. For example, the descending bass note at the beginning of Split Enz's Iris - went from I can "hear it" to holy crap the room is shaking! Things were buzzing, windows rattling, etc.

So there was something that could be measured physically, just not on any device I had. According to Stereophile's measurements the 2 2's do drop down into the 20's. As far as the tweeter seeming better - I'll certainly consider that as entirely psychological. If the bass increased, then that would change the overall balance. Eventually amplifier and cable changes pulled oodles more information out of the speakers as you'd expect, but it was all nuanced.

I also don't know if I'd notice (at my ripe old age) speakers breaking in over a period of weeks. A few hours or possibly days, sure. As I mentioned, I'm not going to doubt people or manufacturers who say break in is necessary. And my experience is only partial and anecdotal, but it was something. I can also state categorically I can tell when a speaker is starting to get a little incontinent!
 
Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Junior Audioholic
Great choice, congrats.
The 906 is a really nice speaker, mine are a piano white pair which also have that same superb fit and finish to go with the fantastic sound they produce.
I have the Focal’s on my A channel with Canton’s on the B side, so feel I’ve got the sound signature I like pretty well covered with these two brands.
I do have an HSU ULS-15 arriving Monday which I expect will take the setup to the next level and I’ll be weighing the need for a second one.
Look forward to seeing your setup all buttoned up and your take on it with more time listening with it all done.

Looks like a room to be in during a period of time where you've got to sit in a room!

I'm a bit of a subwoofer idiot, so pardon my ignorance. Although I'm familiar with HSU (probably more his Kevlar speakers than subs TBH), I'm not familiar with the differences between models (some seem awfully close to each other).

How exactly do you balance the subs for each set of speakers? Is there a variety of presets? That would make sense even if you just had one set of speakers. HSU seems to get a lot of love here (maybe more than SVS?), but also seem to have less technology than something like the SVS pro. I'm actually good with that, the fewer devices involved the better. Heck, my washer/dryer has bluetooth, as if I'll ever use that! I'll be interested to hear how flexible they are in your setup.

Also (since there's a captive audience here ;) ) - I've noticed that SVS has a wireless controller for their subs, as does RSL. This seems almost too good to believe. I'd love to avoid having RCA cables running across the room. So Q for the room: Are these (as I suspect) a last ditch measure for those who can't run cable? Or, do they actually work? It seems most "reviews" only mention this option, but never really review the functionality.
 
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Gryph

Gryph

Audioholic
Looks like a room to be in during a period of time where you've got to sit in a room!

I'm a bit of a subwoofer idiot, so pardon my ignorance. Although I'm familiar with HSU (probably more his Kevlar speakers than subs TBH), I'm not familiar with the differences between models (some seem awfully close to each other).

How exactly do you balance the subs for each set of speakers? Is there a variety of presets? That would make sense even if you just had one set of speakers. HSU seems to get a lot of love here (maybe more than SVS?), but also seem to have less technology than something like the SVS pro. I'm actually good with that, the fewer devices involved the better. Heck, my washer/dryer has bluetooth, as if I'll ever use that! I'll be interested to hear how flexible they are in your setup.

Also (since there's a captive audience here ;) ) - I've noticed that SVS has a wireless controller for their subs, as does RSL. This seems almost too good to believe. I'd love to avoid having RCA cables running across the room. So Q for the room: Are these (as I suspect) a last ditch measure for those who can't run cable? Or, do they actually work? It seems most "reviews" only mention this option, but never really review the functionality.
I’ll let others more experienced with the HSU line of subs answer those questions.

As for my setup and the sub integration, I really have no idea what will be necessary as the first sub doesn’t arrive until this coming Monday.
I will likely follow any setup instructions for the sub along with working through the bass management settings in my outlaw 2160 with each of the speakers that I might use in this setup.

In the end I will more than likely have just one or two pairs of stand mounts in that space along with one or two subs.
I’m still at the point where I’m not 100% sure what those speakers will be though. Budget probably $3000 max so Canton 9.2 DC on the lower end with Focal 1008BE and Philharmonic BMR’s at about where diminishing returns start for my hearing vs cost and my actual needs come into play.
Budget for this system will allow for a couple of outlaw M-2200 mono blocks when and if the receiver runs out of steam going forward.
 
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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
The Cantons are usually on sale 2nd or 3rd week of December.
 
J

Jeff R.

Audioholic General
Great choice, congrats.
The 906 is a really nice speaker, mine are a piano white pair which also have that same superb fit and finish to go with the fantastic sound they produce.
I have the Focal’s on my A channel with Canton’s on the B side, so feel I’ve got the sound signature I like pretty well covered with these two brands.
I do have an HSU ULS-15 arriving Monday which I expect will take the setup to the next level and I’ll be weighing the need for a second one.
Look forward to seeing your setup all buttoned up and your take on it with more time listening with it all done.

Very nice setup! I am loving these little bookshelves.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Junior Audioholic
I see that Focal does have a brief article on break-in (dang, I must be bored when I'm reading about their marketing "technology").

If you want to save a click they suggest about 20 hours which seems sane, and also state you might continue to hear improvements after 50 hours.

I’ll let others more experienced with the HSU line of subs answer those questions.

As for my setup and the sub integration, I really have no idea what will be necessary as the first sub doesn’t arrive until this coming Monday.
I will likely follow any setup instructions for the sub along with working through the bass management settings in my outlaw 2160 with each of the speakers that I might use in this setup.

In the end I will more than likely have just one or two pairs of stand mounts in that space along with one or two subs.
I’m still at the point where I’m not 100% sure what those speakers will be though. Budget probably $3000 max so Canton 9.2 DC on the lower end with Focal 1008BE and Philharmonic BMR’s at about where diminishing returns start for my hearing vs cost and my actual needs come into play.
Budget for this system will allow for a couple of outlaw M-2200 mono blocks when and if the receiver runs out of steam going forward.
Look forward to hearing your trials and tribulations when your sub arrives. If I was budget allocation voting I'd definitely be in favor of the M-2200's. That'll make those Focal's dance.

My "free money" check came yesterday. At first I was thinking of framing it, but after I thought about it, I've got too much money framed as it is. Then it dawned on me that would buy a set of Gaia II's, or cover 1-1/2 subs.

Since I seem to be reading marketing hype after lunch (procrastinating on procrastinating), I'll go see what HSU/SVS/REL (I sense a pattern) have to say about their awesome products.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I’ll let others more experienced with the HSU line of subs answer those questions.

As for my setup and the sub integration, I really have no idea what will be necessary as the first sub doesn’t arrive until this coming Monday.
I will likely follow any setup instructions for the sub along with working through the bass management settings in my outlaw 2160 with each of the speakers that I might use in this setup.

In the end I will more than likely have just one or two pairs of stand mounts in that space along with one or two subs.
I’m still at the point where I’m not 100% sure what those speakers will be though. Budget probably $3000 max so Canton 9.2 DC on the lower end with Focal 1008BE and Philharmonic BMR’s at about where diminishing returns start for my hearing vs cost and my actual needs come into play.
Budget for this system will allow for a couple of outlaw M-2200 mono blocks when and if the receiver runs out of steam going forward.
I have a pair of VTF-3 MK5s and have spent a meaningful amount of time with them, ran several different setups with several different sets of speakers.

Just do like you said and follow the setup instructions that come with the sub. Hsu recommends plugging 1 port, and eq1 when running room correction. That's what I do, then I pull the port bung out and switch it to eq2. If you run into any trouble feel free to hit me up!
 
Gryph

Gryph

Audioholic
I have a pair of VTF-3 MK5s and have spent a meaningful amount of time with them, ran several different setups with several different sets of speakers.

Just do like you said and follow the setup instructions that come with the sub. Hsu recommends plugging 1 port, and eq1 when running room correction. That's what I do, then I pull the port bung out and switch it to eq2. If you run into any trouble feel free to hit me up!
Thanks, Appreciate the offer of help. I do remember all the measuring and EQ work you did getting your system all setup.
Mine will likely be a much quicker process.
I’ve gone with HSU’s sealed ULS-15 so no ports to play with.

I’ll be setting the first sub on center or just left of center in line with the L/R speakers.
If I end up with a second sub they will locate right next to each speaker which will certainly allow for a higher crossover frequency if that’s what turns out to work best with the speakers.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Thanks, Appreciate the offer of help. I do remember all the measuring and EQ work you did getting your system all setup.
Mine will likely be a much quicker process.
I’ve gone with HSU’s sealed ULS-15 so no ports to play with.

I’ll be setting the first sub on center or just left of center in line with the L/R speakers.
If I end up with a second sub they will locate right next to each speaker which will certainly allow for a higher crossover frequency if that’s what turns out to work best with the speakers.
Yes, your setup will be much simpler, not that that's a bad thing either. I know this isn't your first rodeo so I won't get all into a bunch of details unless you ask. Really, if you have any issues it might be that a sub won't work in your preferred spot, but sounds like you have a little bit of wiggle room so that helps.

That's a nice sub, btw. Congrats!
 
Gryph

Gryph

Audioholic
Yes, your setup will be much simpler, not that that's a bad thing either. I know this isn't your first rodeo so I won't get all into a bunch of details unless you ask. Really, if you have any issues it might be that a sub won't work in your preferred spot, but sounds like you have a little bit of wiggle room so that helps.

That's a nice sub, btw. Congrats!
Thanks, I definitely have some open floor space around the room for em, I’m confident it’ll work out just fine with some trial and error.
I’m also not trying to get reference level HT pressurizing, most of my music listening isn’t crazy loud anyway.
I had tried an old 10” velodyne in the room at one point with my old Wharfdales and that got me thinking that adding a quality subwoofer would be step in the right direction. Now Just seemed as good a time as any to give it a whirl.

Initial sub placement along with the setup of the receivers bass management and subwoofers initial settings are complete.



And now over in the right hand corner,




And a second ULS-15 is on its way now.

And I must apologies to the OP for hijacking his thread
Sorry
 
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J

Jeff R.

Audioholic General
No worries. I have been tied up the past week with work and not had to focus on some further commentary.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
I don't know if it is the colors or what, but somehow this looks like a CAD generated drawing of a room like would be used in a computer game more than a photo! Maybe it is the shading that somehow looks rendered!
Congrats! Dual ULS-15's is a nice option!
I was going to ask if Hsu gave you the dual sub discount when you bought the second one even though you did not buy at the same time, but I see that right now they already discount the price of the single to half the price of the duals!
 
Gryph

Gryph

Audioholic
I don't know if it is the colors or what, but somehow this looks like a CAD generated drawing of a room like would be used in a computer game more than a photo! Maybe it is the shading that somehow looks rendered!
Congrats! Dual ULS-15's is a nice option!
I was going to ask if Hsu gave you the dual sub discount when you bought the second one even though you did not buy at the same time, but I see that right now they already discount the price of the single to half the price of the duals!

It’s a real picture of a converted art studio, the floor was painted with a gloss floor paint to make clean ups easier.
My best guess is what you’re seeing is a combination of my iPad camera shooting at a high ISO under the single LED light, mixing weirdly with the flat wall paint and glossy floor paint.
It’s probably only coming off a little funkier then it actually is though. I just never got around to doing the floor over in here and the room has a pretty decent acoustic balance all things considered.

The dual subs will allow me to stick with stand mounts and I should be able to get more speaker for my money in the future.
When moving the sub along the front of the room I was able to localize it a little to much as it seemed to add more weight to the speaker it was closest to. Once in the corner that effect seemed to go away. Then I decided to go all in with the second HSU subwoofer which seems to offer more pluses than cons from what I’ve been reading.
 

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