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$2500 WTMW Vertically Oriented

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2500-vertical-rigging.jpgTo experiment with this heavyweight in a vertical orientation, it not only required The Captain’s Chair, but also The Comfy Pillow. Naturally, I assume the pillow further reduced any stresses the speaker would feel. I was going to draw the line if it also needed slippers and a paper, but it turned out the only additional effort I needed was to endure the well-deserved ribbing from onlookers. This design doesn’t have square ends, so you’d never want to do this permanently, but let’s see what happens.

In the 1/24 octave chart below, you can see that something is worse in the upper midrange and lower treble. With the tweeter and midrange arranged horizontally you can now see the wave interference above and below the 4 kHz crossover point. This company uses a first-order crossover between their tweeter and midrange, which means that there are about two octaves where there the two drivers interact with each other. If vertically aligned, this wouldn’t be an issue and their integration of the two drivers sounds absolutely perfect. None of their speakers are meant to have a horizontal tweeter-midrange arrangement like this, and their top models don’t even place the midrange in the same baffle as the woofers.

2500-vertical-chart1.jpg

In the 1/6 octave chart below, you can more clearly see the audible performance of this well-pampered configuration. By vertically orienting it, we have successfully eliminated the wave interference of the two woofers just above their crossover point at 360 Hz. However, like we saw in the horn-tweeter design, this speaker is clearly not designed to be positioned like this. The first-order tweeter crossover is audibly allowing wave interference to occur for an octave above and below the crossover point. We’ve fixed a minor wave interference problem but created another which is much worse. If only they had a center speaker that had all the drivers arranged vertically… oh wait, they call those “main” speakers. Unfortunately, many people are stuck in the mindset that the center channel must only use a special center speaker design. In reality, there are often better options, but because this speaker only has a couple octaves where the drivers are redundant, this design isn’t that compromised.

2500-vertical-chart3.jpg

The wave interference from the woofers was clearly improved by vertically orienting the speaker. The standard deviation in the woofers’ range of 80 to 350 Hz was calculated to be 0.61. The inter-driver interference we created between the tweeter and midrange isn’t included in this score. Including crossover effects and inherent driver radiation patterns (e.g. the horn tweeter in Part 1) would increase the scope too much. I wanted to focus as tightly as reasonable on just the interaction between horizontally arranged redundant drivers.

freq-response-variation4.jpg


Average Frequency Variation From 0-Axis,
80-350 Hz, (Lower is Better)

$2600 W(T/M)W Horizontal Center

1.02

$2600 W(T/M)W Vertical Center

0.61

While the woofer wave interference was practically eliminated by rotating this speaker vertically, there are many reasons why you wouldn’t want to do this for this design. However, having shown that one type of sonic compromise can be avoided by thinking vertically it would be wise to pursue using three identical “main” speakers across your front soundstage. Their floor standing speaker with identical drivers and crossover points retail at $4000 for the pair, so again in theory you could get better sound at a lower cost if this company sold them individually. I know that one high-end multichannel audio reviewer I follow uses three of this company’s floor standing speakers across his front soundstage.

In the manufacturer’s main brochure on this series, they proudly show off how Skywalker Sound uses three identical floor-standing “main” speakers across their front soundstage. It’s curious that while configurations like this are correctly portrayed as achieving the highest multichannel front soundstage possible, the company only sells their main speakers in pairs. Maybe Lucas just threw the extra in the closet.

On one hand, this center channel design avoids wave interference very reasonably. However on the other hand people in this price point are keenly interested in getting the best sound possible.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

TLS Guy posts on October 20, 2009 23:33
irish, post: 637493
Thanks for the recommendations. The Beta 360 would be too large for my application although it does look nice. The KEF Q series, iQ60c, looks like it might work pretty well as it's less than 7“ tall. The speaker cabinet design is a bit different but that isn't a breaking point. How do co-axials differ from in sound or performance from a more ”traditional" design where the speakers are seperate?

If more speakers had a wider bandwidth, then there would be no crossovers and multiple speakers. Multiple speakers are a workaround for a problem, not an inherent advantage.

The point of a coaxial speaker is to keep the sound coherent. What would be ideal is to have a bass/mid cone that crossed over to the tweeter, 4 kHz, then you would avoid a crossover in the speech discrimination band. However no such animal exists at present and crossover to the tweeter in current units is in the neighborhood of 3 kHz.

In a coaxial, the cone of the woofer acts as a wave guide to the tweeter. Things a re designed such that there is usually time coherence. However because a first order crossover is just about never possible, there are phase anomalies at crossover, just like any other speaker. There is symmetrical lobing and therefore the vertical and horizontal axis response is identical. The coverage is therefore conical.

As far as drivers to choose from the most well known are KEF and Tannoy. Thiel also has a coaxial center. Pioneer also have one in their range.

However, after having auditioned KEF recently the SEAS driver is in my view far superior.

You can buy a LOKI kit that is very good value.

I use these drivers in my center speaker. The tweeter is used only in the lower driver, the upper one is an active fill driver and the tweeter not connected.



In this TL, I could not be more happy with it.
irish posts on October 20, 2009 16:54
lsiberian, post: 637476
For If you are interested in a coaxial accessories4less sells KEF speakers for a pretty cheap clip. Still you'd have to like their other offering. I think the best horizontal center I've heard in the budget range is the Beta 360 treated with rockwool and peel-n-seal

Thanks for the recommendations. The Beta 360 would be too large for my application although it does look nice. The KEF Q series, iQ60c, looks like it might work pretty well as it's less than 7“ tall. The speaker cabinet design is a bit different but that isn't a breaking point. How do co-axials differ from in sound or performance from a more ”traditional" design where the speakers are seperate?
lsiberian posts on October 20, 2009 16:12
irish, post: 637446
Thanks for your response! I was pretty sure that was the case but I may have no choice due to my set up. It's a living room/HT set up and acoustically won't be great but it's what we have. I'm still learning and have no idea what the bolded words mean. If I understand correctly when a center is horizontal the tweeter needs to be raised vertically so that it's not in line with the mids…
The stand I have is like this one http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=15604297&postcount=105 so there isn't room a for a center due to the units being pushed together. I'm also size limited due to using a plasma on it's stand with a 7" clearance from base to screen so bookshelf speakers won't fit.
The best fit from quality mfgs that I've found would be the Def Techs or Paradigm CC-190 which does have vertically aligned tweeters http://paradigm.com/en/paradigm/speaker_only-specification-6-1-3-4.paradigm. Would that be a better option that the Mythos?
Thanks a bunch for helping me out!

These might work too but they're aligned as well http://paradigm.com/en/reference/speaker_only-specification-65-1-3-20.paradigm

For If you are interested in a coaxial accessories4less sells KEF speakers for a pretty cheap clip. Still you'd have to like their other offering. I think the best horizontal center I've heard in the budget range is the Beta 360 treated with rockwool and peel-n-seal
TLS Guy posts on October 20, 2009 15:30
irish, post: 637446
Thanks for your response! I was pretty sure that was the case but I may have no choice due to my set up. It's a living room/HT set up and acoustically won't be great but it's what we have. I'm still learning and have no idea what the bolded words mean. If I understand correctly when a center is horizontal the tweeter needs to be raised vertically so that it's not in line with the mids…
The stand I have is like this one http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=15604297&postcount=105 so there isn't room a for a center due to the units being pushed together. I'm also size limited due to using a plasma on it's stand with a 7" clearance from base to screen so bookshelf speakers won't fit.
The best fit from quality mfgs that I've found would be the Def Techs or Paradigm CC-190 which does have vertically aligned tweeters http://paradigm.com/en/paradigm/speaker_only-specification-6-1-3-4.paradigm. Would that be a better option that the Mythos?
Thanks a bunch for helping me out!

These might work too but they're aligned as well http://paradigm.com/en/reference/speaker_only-specification-65-1-3-20.paradigm

The paradigm C190 is on the right lines, but I think you would have to go with an all Paradigm system, as they have a definite voicing about them, that I did not care for when I auditioned them, at least the Studio 100s
irish posts on October 20, 2009 15:13
TLS Guy, post: 637438
Yes they would. To make a good horizontal center, you need either a coaxial driver, or a three way with at least the tweeter above the mid, and preferably the mid band/pass crossover point spread 350 Hz to at least 4 kHz, like the B & W.

Thanks for your response! I was pretty sure that was the case but I may have no choice due to my set up. It's a living room/HT set up and acoustically won't be great but it's what we have. I'm still learning and have no idea what the bolded words mean. If I understand correctly when a center is horizontal the tweeter needs to be raised vertically so that it's not in line with the mids…
The stand I have is like this one http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=15604297&postcount=105 so there isn't room a for a center due to the units being pushed together. I'm also size limited due to using a plasma on it's stand with a 7" clearance from base to screen so bookshelf speakers won't fit.
The best fit from quality mfgs that I've found would be the Def Techs or Paradigm CC-190 which does have vertically aligned tweeters http://paradigm.com/en/paradigm/speaker_only-specification-6-1-3-4.paradigm. Would that be a better option that the Mythos?
Thanks a bunch for helping me out!

These might work too but they're aligned as well http://paradigm.com/en/reference/speaker_only-specification-65-1-3-20.paradigm
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