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Fluance Signature Series Speakers Measurements and Analysis

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 TestingrigFluanceRc.jpg

The Fluance Signature Tower speakers were measured in free air elevated to a height of approximately 4 feet and gated at 9 ms. At this windowed gate, accuracy is lost below 111 Hz and so lower bass frequencies below that point should be ignored. The microphone was placed 2 meters away from the speaker at a height level just below the tweeter. The below graphs use 1/24 octave smoothing.  

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Fluance Signature Tower Frequency Response (2 meters outdoors)

The frequency response of the Fluance Signature Towers can’t really be called neutral, however there isn’t anything very worrisome here either. This speaker has deliberately been voiced for a ‘warm’ sound, i.e, the treble is a bit lower than the bass. This is not unusual and can give recordings a slightly recessed response, but it can also take some of the edge off of a harsh recording and can be a less fatiguing speaker to for long listening sessions. A speaker with hotter treble might be able to provide a more detailed sound, however, between a speaker with elevated treble and a speaker with lowered treble, I will take lowered treble since too much treble can make for a hollow or tinny sound, although I would prefer a flat response. The first Signature towers were criticized for their heightened treble, but the frequency response from these re-launched Signature Towers certainly do not suffer from this anymore. A response like this would be good for those who want to throw on a rock album or a dance mix and listen to it all the way through, since it will be a less harsh experience than other speakers. For those who are looking for very high accuracy or who want catch every detail in a recording, there are better choices. The good news is there isn’t any abrupt peaks or resonances, which are the more egregious flaws. The ‘Listening Window’ curve indicates very little deviation of the near off-axis to the direct axis, so this speaker should sound good over a broader area than a narrow ‘sweet spot’ of seating.

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Fluance Signature Tower speakers horizontal frequency response +/-90 degrees from axis: 3D view

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Fluance Signature Tower speakers horizontal frequency response +/-90 degrees: 2D view 

For the horizontal off-axis response of the Fluance Signature Towers, the outer angles follow the on-axis fairly well, which is a desired quality off axis. The sound of the Signature Towers off-axis does not differ much from the on-axis sound, except of course, for the roll-off of the high frequencies. The dispersion pattern evidenced by this graph indicates that the Signature Towers would cover a relatively wide area with a decent response, meaning that this is not a speaker that only sounds good in one listening position. This is good dispersion for who need good coverage over a broad area. One thing to note about this graph is that there is a 5 dB dip around 10 kHz. These measurements were taken on-axis with the tweeter, and that dip occurs at that height. This isn’t a serious concern because the tweeter is mounted so high on this speaker, that a seated listener’s ears is likely to be around the mid-woofer height. When the Signature Tower speaker is measured at the mid-woofer height, the 10 kHz dip disappears.

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Fluance Signature Tower Polar Map

The above Polar Map shows the same data as the horizontal responses above, but from a top-down view using color to indicate amplitude. What can be seen in this graph of the Signature Tower horizontal measurements that is not as easy to see in the others is a narrowing of the dispersion around 6 kHz, which is a consequence of the ‘warm’ voicing, meaning that the high frequencies above that point are not quite as widely emitted as lower frequencies. This will also contribute to the warm sound of the Signature Towers, since there won’t be quite as much high frequency reflection off of surfaces in-room.  

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Fluance Signature Towers Electrical Impedance and Phase 

For the Impedance spec on the Signature Tower’s product page, they simply state “8 ohm compatible”, which I assume to mean they are compatible with amplifiers rated only down to an 8-ohm load. From examining the impedance graph, I would not dispute that. Even an entry level AVR should be able to drive the Signature Towers with no problem. The impedance minima is 5.7 ohms, but these speakers do not require special amplification or a heavy-duty amplifier.

 Fluance states an 89 dB sensitivity spec, but they do not say whether that was taken at 2.83v or 1 watt (this important distinction is discussed in our loudspeaker sensitivity article). Our measurements show an 87.8 dB sensitivity for 2.83v, which would be very close to what Fluance has, especially if they mean 1 watt. This means that it does not take a beefy amplifier to get this speaker loud. A 60 watt amplifier would be enough to pierce one’s ears with the Signature Towers.

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Total Harmonic Distortion for Signature Towers at 95 dB drive level 

The Total Harmonic Distortion graph above shows fairly good performance. Pictured are both the 90 and 95 dB level distortion profiles, and they are nearly identical. These tests were not done in an anechoic chamber, so background noise may have a slight contribution here. Even at these loud drive levels, distortion is mostly kept under 1%, except for the bump centered around 70 Hz, which is where the woofers are driven the hardest. The dip in distortion below that peak is the ports taking over from the woofers, and alleviating them of the need for high excursions, so distortion drops markedly. Even that peak is not bad; 5% harmonic distortion at such a low frequency is very unlikely to be audible, especially since it is composed mainly of 2nd and 3rd harmonics much, which is far more audibly-benign than higher order harmonics. Distortion might have been reduced a slight bit more if we’d tested it in a bi-amped configuration, but this is already a good showing, so I would say that bi-amping is not needed. Overall, this is a good picture of performance with no real problems evident. The Signature Towers offer very clean performance across their frequency spectrum. 

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

rojo posts on January 07, 2017 15:36
Rootman, post: 1165348, member: 81198
I'm not trying to be a troll or anything –

– yet, sadly, accidental trolling occurs alarmingly often. Best to say nothing at all, my dear man.
Dennis Murphy posts on January 07, 2017 15:01
Rootman, post: 1165393, member: 81198
Very Quasi… I'm not trying to be overly critical and get what he's doing.
I guess I'm not understanding what your objection is. Would you also say that Harman shouldn't test their speakers in an anechoic chamber because people don't listen to speakers in anechoic chambers? If so, I think you're misunderstanding the point of measurements like this. They're just intended to sort out the inherent response of the speaker from room effects.
Rootman posts on January 07, 2017 14:55
Dennis Murphy, post: 1165382, member: 29480
The reviewer wasn't conducting listening tests out there on the driveway. He was taking quasi-anechoic measurements. His setup allowed more resolution into the lower frequencies to give a better idea of the inherent bass capability of the speaker. As for the listening environment, as is stated in the article: “In my approximately 24’ by 13’ listening room, I set up the speakers with equal stand-off distances between the backwall and sidewall……………..”
Very Quasi… I'm not trying to be overly critical and get what he's doing.
Dennis Murphy posts on January 07, 2017 13:52
Rootman, post: 1165348, member: 81198
I'm not trying to be a troll or anything, but having bought and listened to high end audio equipment for most of my 60 years(OK, I started at age 10), I know of no one that would ever listen to their rig set out in their driveway, 4 feet off the ground!!!! Unless of course, you are having a field party, like Woodstock!!!! So why run listening tests on stuff out there????

If you want real world stats, use real world listening conditions. I get that not everyone has the same environment….but, I grant you NO one on this man's earth listens out on the driveway to a high end rig on a regular basis, eh???? Enough already with the empirical data!!!!!

Just my two cents after reading and seeing the Fluance speaker review. BTW. I am not listening to BOSE 901's or such. I'm a tube guy with VTL stuff and Maggies and other things. Just saying boyzzzz!!!!

Happy New Year!!!

The reviewer wasn't conducting listening tests out there on the driveway. He was taking quasi-anechoic measurements. His setup allowed more resolution into the lower frequencies to give a better idea of the inherent bass capability of the speaker. As for the listening environment, as is stated in the article: “In my approximately 24’ by 13’ listening room, I set up the speakers with equal stand-off distances between the backwall and sidewall……………..”
Rootman posts on January 07, 2017 11:54
I'm not trying to be a troll or anything, but having bought and listened to high end audio equipment for most of my 60 years(OK, I started at age 10), I know of no one that would ever listen to their rig set out in their driveway, 4 feet off the ground!!!! Unless of course, you are having a field party, like Woodstock!!!! So why run listening tests on stuff out there????

If you want real world stats, use real world listening conditions. I get that not everyone has the same environment….but, I grant you NO one on this man's earth listens out on the driveway to a high end rig on a regular basis, eh???? Enough already with the empirical data!!!!!

Just my two cents after reading and seeing the Fluance speaker review. BTW. I am not listening to BOSE 901's or such. I'm a tube guy with VTL stuff and Maggies and other things. Just saying boyzzzz!!!!

Happy New Year!!!
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