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Status Acoustics Titus 8T Floorstanding Speaker System Measurements and Analysis

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Measuring the Status 8T Outdoors @ 2 meters

Measurements were conducted both outdoors and indoors using the LMS system from Linear X for frequency response and impedance measurements and the OmniMic system from Dayton Audio for distortion measurements.

Gene's Status 8T system z.jpg

Impedance / Phase Measurements of the Status Acoustics 8T Speaker System

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Separated Impedance of the Status Acoustics 8T Speaker System
Purple trace: bass module ; Blue trace: Satellite module

The first impedance/phase sweep was taken on each Status 8T system configured with the satellite and bass module wired together for single amplification mode while the second measurement graph separated the impedance of the bass and satellite modules.  Thanks to tight tolerances in parts and consistency in cabinet stuffing, both speakers measured nearly identical throughout the entire audio bandwidth.  I’ve never seen a pair of speakers track this closely, especially ones with multi drive units like this system.

The Status Acoustics 8T speakers appear to be tuned at around 22Hz, but the peaks are slightly asymmetric indicating the system is tuned a bit higher than the driver's resonance frequency.   This allows for more power handling down to 20Hz region.  Because of the multi-driver array paralleling essentially three 8 ohm bass drive units, the Status 8T system can be a strenuous load for an amplifier, dipping down below 3 ohms in the lower bass regions.  I was puzzled why Status Acoustics didn’t employ 12 ohm drivers to keep the system impedance above 4-ohms so I asked Shane Rich.

Editorial Note about the Low Impedance of the Status 8T System by Shane Rich:

1. Let me answer the question with a question.  Why would anyone design a 4 Ohm speaker vs. an 8 Ohm speaker?  The same logic applies to your question.  Again, this is assuming we are using amplifiers that are capable of putting out the current necessary to extend the dynamics of the system at lower impedance loads.  Case in point, the voltage rails of my ADA amp are about the same as the Boulder amplifier we have used.  Why then does the Boulder sound so much more dynamic? 

Answer: It is delivering more power into the load the speaker presents to the amplifier.  Yes the efficiency of the amp may be reduced somewhat, but if the amp can output 600W into a 4 Ohm load and still put out 1200W into a 2 Ohm load, why not utilize the available power?  

2.  There would be a reduction of sensitivity of the system in the bass frequencies if all else were equal.  The voltage sensitivity of the system would be reduced by a dB or 2 in the bass frequencies so in effect the balance of the sound would change and speaker would have a "lighter" less bassy bottom end.

That being said, yes, I will admit to briefly considering the option of using a 12 Ohm coil like I did in the in the three paralleled 8" drivers utilized in the RBH 8300 towers,  but I ruled that out after seeing how well balanced system was using the existing 10" drivers and knowing the buyer for these speakers was likely to use a monster amp to power them.

Though the phase varies substantially at low frequencies (10Hz to 20Hz), the swings aren’t of much consequence given the magnitude of the impedance.  Notice that the magnitude of the impedance never drops below 5 ohms at the phase angle extremes in the bottom end.  Magnitude is 6-ohms at 18Hz where the phase angle is -42 deg and 5.2 ohms at 42Hz where the phase angle is -39 deg.  Any good quality high power 4 ohm capable amplifier should be able to drive this speaker without too much difficulty, but again I recommend pairing them with the best amplification you can get your hands on.  Of course in bi-amp mode, the end user should select amplifiers with similar gain structures but with an emphasis on the amp powering the bass modules being stable down to 2 ohm loads.  The satellite module is a relatively easy load for any good quality 4 ohm rated amplifier to drive. 

Status Acoustics specifies system sensitivity at 93dB at 2.83V/meter.  I measured about 92dB with a slight bump in the bass so their claim seems to be pretty accurate. 

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Status Acoustics 8T In-Room 1.75 Meter Listening Window Response (1/12th octave smoothed)

Measuring a speaker like the Status 8T is a difficult task not only because of the complex multi-driver array, but also its sheer size making it hard to move around or measure outdoors.  Having multiple front firing bass drivers and rear ports makes this task even trickier.  With that I took a combination of five measurements (on-axis, +/-15 deg off axis vertically and 15 and 30 deg off axis horizontally) and averaged them to form a listening window response curve.  I then took the outdoor groundplane measurement we made on the bass module and spliced its response to the listening window response at 150Hz.  Overall this gives a fairly accurate representation of what the speaker would look like quasi-anechoic at 2 meters.  As you can see the response is extremely linear above the splice point maintaining a +/- 2.5dB frequency response out to 20kHz and that’s with measurements 30 degrees off-axis averaged into the overall response curve.  The slight dip in the 100Hz to 200Hz frequency is a measurement artifact of measuring this speaker at such a close distance caused by the interference of the first reflection off the ground.

The Status 8T speaker system exhibited extremely linear response at all power levels

There is a bit of a bump (2-3dB) in the 30-60Hz region which is probably responsible for the 8T systems very tactile response that adds a pleasant warmth to the sound.  It’s interesting to note that the groundplane sweeps we ran on the bass module produced the same response curve below 150Hz with no compression out to 115dB where the amplifier we used ran out of power. The 8T bass module didn’t break a sweat and was ready for a kilowatt amp, which sadly we didn’t have on-hand during the time these measurements were conducted.

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Status Acoustics 8T Outdoor 2 Meter Off-Axis Response (1/12th octave smoothed)
Blue: on-axis; Purple: 15 deg; Green: 30 deg; Yellow: 45 deg

Taking a closer look at the off-axis response of the Status 8T system really gives a true appreciation of the caliber of performance the Scan Speak 6640 Beryllium offers.  Just look at how smooth the upper frequency response is on-axis and how gradual the roll-off is all the way out to 45 degrees off-axis.  You very rarely see a tweeter with such a smooth, predictable rolloff from 0 to 15 to 30 to 45 degrees off-axis.  Usually there's some resonance somewhere so one of the off-axis curves actually spikes above one of the other curves somewhere in the band. That’s clearly not happening here.  Also, the 0 and 15 degree curves are almost identical, indicating the tweeter has superbly good dispersion and the dome is obviously not mounted in a recess that restricts its off-axis output.  This indicates excellent performance and a well integrated system.  The lack of measurement artifacts also indicates a very well engineered front baffle.

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Status Acoustics 8T In-Room 1.75 meter Frequency Response Comparison (1/12th Octave Resolution)
Purple: no grille; blue: with grille

Of course it’s always recommended to listen to your speakers with the grilles off, especially these babies, but it’s also good to know that a properly engineered grille can not only provide protection for the drivers but do minimal harm to the sound.  The Status 8T grilles are pretty transparent, as indicated in the measurement above, but they aren’t perfect.  You can see some loss in the critical 2 kHz midrange and upper 8-10kHz areas.  This may be a result of the ½” standoffs not allowing them to flush mount against the baffle.  Making these grilles magnetic looks great so it’s a small sacrifice to pay in performance and anyone serious about audio will not be using these grilles during critical listening sessions anyways.

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Status Acoustics 8T In-Room THD Distortion Measurement (@ listening position)

Using the OmniMic system, I positioned the mic 1.5 meters away from the 8T’s tweeter to do a frequency vs. distortion sweep.  This is a similar test to how the NRC does distortion.  In my opinion this type of distortion test doesn’t give you the whole picture but it does wring out obvious flaws or problems with the speaker system.  I drove the 8T’s at high output (more than my ears could take for any duration of time) and I noticed as I increased the volume, the output level went up but the distortion curve did not.  This indicated to me that the Status 8T system distortion was below the noise floor of my room.  So, I repositioned the mic to the listening area almost 14ft away from the speakers and ran a full-range sweep from 10Hz to 20kHz with both speakers driven.  Again, the same excellent results were produced.  This was the cleanest system I’ve ever measured.  Most speaker systems distortion goes way up at low frequencies since hardly any so called “full-range” towers are really full-range.  This was not the case with the 8T system as you can see in the graph above.  This is what happens when you mate multiple high quality drivers in a large box with well-executed crossover design. 

It’s also particularly interesting that the frequency response with both speakers driven at the listening position was +- 5dB from 20Hz to 10kHz and this graph retained 1/12th octave resolution.  Thanks to the higher proportion of direct sound to the listening area, the response at the primary listening seats is very linear.  This is unachievable in my room with conventional 2-way or 3-way designs without the use of electronic room correction. 

If you want to convert the THD to physical numbers, you can subtract the SPL sweep (black) from the distortion sweep (blue) at corresponding frequencies and convert the numerical # to a percentage as follows:

dB Below Test Tone % Distortion
-5 dB 56.2%
-10 dB 31.6%
-15 dB 17.8%
-20 dB 10.0%
-25 dB 5.62%
-30 dB 3.16%
-35 dB 1.78%
-40 dB 1.00%
-45 dB .562%
-50 dB .316%
-55 dB .178%
-60 dB .100%
-65 dB .056%
-70 dB .032%
-75 dB .018%
-80 dB .01%

Distortion Table (dB to % Conversion)

For example at 1kHz, the 8T SPL was roughly 95dB (at 1 meter) while the THD level was 35dB.  95dB – 35dB = 60dB or 0.100% THD.

The Downside

Really the only downside I can think of regarding the Status 8T speaker system is size and cost.  These speakers are very large and heavy.  Installing a pair of 8T’s in a listening room is not a one man job and a product of this caliber should be installed by a professional.  At $50k/pair, these speakers don’t come cheap - but audiophiles shopping speakers in this price class probably aren’t too concerned about that.  Because this speaker system is so revealing, I have found that the quality of upstream components attached to them really makes a world of difference.  Hearing a proper setup of this system may spoil your sonic palate making it hard to settle for anything less.  Be warned!

Status Acoustics does offer the matching 8C center channel and will soon be releasing a bookshelf speaker to complete a full multi-channel surround solution, but they currently have no dedicated powered subwoofer. I would really like to see Status Acoustics offer a powered sub based on the bass module for this product.  I could only imagine how such a sub with a meaty amp and trick DSP circuit would produce benchmark performance measurements and sound in the cost-no-object powered subwoofer category.   Of course a diehard Audioholic with the bankroll of Warren Buffet or Bill Gates would just use five 8T speakers and call it a day J

Recommendations

Investing in a pair of speakersStatus-close.jpg of this stature requires great effort in setting them up in the proper listening space with equipment capable of allowing them to reach their full potential.  These speakers need a lot of breathing room to strut their stuff.  I’d recommend a room large enough that will allow you to place them 3-4ft away from the back wall while being able to place the primary seating area a good 10-12ft from the speakers.  Perhaps a room size of 20ft x 15ft would be a good minimum recommendation. 

I recommend caution when pairing the Status 8T system with a Class D amplifier.  I experienced non-optimal sonic results when mating them with this type of amplifier I had on hand.  It simply didn’t handle the low frequency impedance swings with as much grace or finesses as the very best linear amplifiers I paired them up with.  In order to achieve the full potential this speaker system has to offer, it’s recommended that you select an amplifier that is as close to an ideal voltage source as possible, doubling down in power as impedance halves (ie. 300wpc at 8-ohms, 600wpc at 4ohms, 1200wpc at 2ohms).  It’s a good idea to verify with the amplifier manufacturer of your choice if their product is truly stable down to 2-ohm loads.  Using an amp not capable of sourcing lots of current into 4- and even 2-ohm loads will result in clearly audible inferior results especially at louder listening levels with bass intense program material.  I had excellent results pairing these speakers with amplifiers from Classe and Pass Labs and I am confident you would too but also check out options from ATI, Anthem, Boulder, and Bryston to name a few. 

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

haraldo posts on October 13, 2013 16:52
Rich Davis, post: 993231
I laughed for about 5 minutes after seeing that photograph. does the mfg of the test equipment instruct the user to move the speakers outdoors when performing those measurements? That's not a good methodology for testing a speaker, plus I would use the cables that the MFG recommends for their speakers when connecting to other components such as amps and pre amps. The reason is the mfg uses equipment/cables in their listening rooms when designing and testing their equipment, so they might have recommendations for obtaining similar test results.

It is insulting to my intelligence that a reviewer would take home audio speakers and move them outside to perform measurement tests. Every time I've been to an outdoor concert, wind has a HUGE factor on various frequencies, so I'm sure testing home audio systems outdoors is, well, kind of stupid, IMO. Aren't you supposed to use an anechoic chamber for those kinds of measurement tests instead?

The best way to measure speakers is probably in an anechoic chamber but the cost is prohibitive as in order to get good results way down in frequencies size of wedges and size of room must be enormous, I don't even comprehend what the cost is but it's probably way out of reach. lacking anechoic chamber, the outdoor testing is the only way to reliably measure a speaker I reckon, unless you want to measure the room modes and other influences of the room.

I guess Vandersteen Audio has facilities like this and for sure also Dunlavy Audio Labs used this as John Dunlavy could measure his speakers reliably in an anechoic chamber down below 20Hz…. I really don't see why Audhioholics should go the the step of putting so much money into this…. I believe what they do is industry leading and way better measurements than say… what they do in Stereophile, which is indoors at 50", many speakers don't integrate properly at such a short distance…. if Stereophile measures at bigger distance then room influence would take over…. There's been a wave of criticism from some manufacturers about this way of measuring, claiming that it just doesn't show reliably performance of some large array speakers…… I am not saying that it's this way or the other but just referring to what's been written and stated around Inet…

I reckon outdoors is way way better, Audioholics is the benchmark
gene posts on October 13, 2013 16:00
Rich Davis, post: 993231
I laughed for about 5 minutes after seeing that photograph. does the mfg of the test equipment instruct the user to move the speakers outdoors when performing those measurements? That's not a good methodology for testing a speaker, plus I would use the cables that the MFG recommends for their speakers when connecting to other components such as amps and pre amps. The reason is the mfg uses equipment/cables in their listening rooms when designing and testing their equipment, so they might have recommendations for obtaining similar test results.

It is insulting to my intelligence that a reviewer would take home audio speakers and move them outside to perform measurement tests. Every time I've been to an outdoor concert, wind has a HUGE factor on various frequencies, so I'm sure testing home audio systems outdoors is, well, kind of stupid, IMO. Aren't you supposed to use an anechoic chamber for those kinds of measurement tests instead?

I'll give you the benefit of a doubt seeing how you're a new member and obviously lacking in knowledge on measuring loudspeakers.

This speaker was measured both outdoors (for accuracy) and indoors (to see how they integrated into the room). The outdoor measurements most closely approximate an anechoic environment by removing all echos but the floor. A speaker this large would be difficult to measure anechoically even if we had access to a chamber due to its sheer size and capabilities down below 100Hz.

Outdoor measurements (aka, GP) are the best way to measure subwoofers which is not only an industry standard but it's also what we do. It has the advantage over anechoic since most anechoic chambers are too small and/or have insufficiently sized wedges to produce accurate results below 100Hz.

Hopefully you will will read up more on the subject matter before making such insulting and ignorant postings in the future.
fuzz092888 posts on October 13, 2013 15:12
Rich Davis, post: 993231
I laughed for about 5 minutes after seeing that photograph. does the mfg of the test equipment instruct the user to move the speakers outdoors when performing those measurements? That's not a good methodology for testing a speaker, plus I would use the cables that the MFG recommends for their speakers when connecting to other components such as amps and pre amps. The reason is the mfg uses equipment/cables in their listening rooms when designing and testing their equipment, so they might have recommendations for obtaining similar test results.

It is insulting to my intelligence that a reviewer would take home audio speakers and move them outside to perform measurement tests. Every time I've been to an outdoor concert, wind has a HUGE factor on various frequencies, so I'm sure testing home audio systems outdoors is, well, kind of stupid, IMO. Aren't you supposed to use an anechoic chamber for those kinds of measurement tests instead?

Outdoor testing is a perfectly viable way of gaining near anechoic measurements so long as you account for outdoor factors and don't test where it's noisy or on a windy day, gate your measurements appropriately, etc. If you don't know how to properly test speakers (based on your last sentence) then how can you criticize others on how it's being done? Besides, comparing being at an outdoor concert to what is being referenced is just silly. If you can't see why, then I'm not sure what to say.

As long as the cables aren't defective and are competently made they should perform near identically to higher priced cables. Although if you're buying these speakers I doubt you have any issue paying for Kimber Kable or the like.
Rich Davis posts on October 13, 2013 14:46
Why is there a test performed outdoors?

I laughed for about 5 minutes after seeing that photograph. does the mfg of the test equipment instruct the user to move the speakers outdoors when performing those measurements? That's not a good methodology for testing a speaker, plus I would use the cables that the MFG recommends for their speakers when connecting to other components such as amps and pre amps. The reason is the mfg uses equipment/cables in their listening rooms when designing and testing their equipment, so they might have recommendations for obtaining similar test results.

It is insulting to my intelligence that a reviewer would take home audio speakers and move them outside to perform measurement tests. Every time I've been to an outdoor concert, wind has a HUGE factor on various frequencies, so I'm sure testing home audio systems outdoors is, well, kind of stupid, IMO. Aren't you supposed to use an anechoic chamber for those kinds of measurement tests instead?
BoredSysAdmin posts on August 30, 2013 10:57
Weird, I clearly remember posting one of the first posts on this thread something like this: “Too bad Kimber cable interconnects weren't mentioned at all in the article” clearly referring to reoccurrence of Kimber brand 6 times on a single page.

Now I can't find that post anymore. hmmmm……
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