Using the Right Instruments with “Audio Home Speaker Testing”

We use the Instrument 2 Loudspeaker as a test example for Audio Home speaker Testing…

Only want the measurement software? Just skip to the “Room EQ Wizard text link below. Room EQ Wizard is free software that helps you take in room measurements with a PC and microphone. Its very easy to use and setup. (more description below)

The Instrument II Speaker

As far as listening I can only compare the sound of the Instrument 2 loudspeakers to my experience with other audio Instrument 2 speaker picturehome speaker testing results.

The other loudspeakers I have heard are listed by name in this review so you can draw a comparison.

These results are for the original prototype of the Instrument 2 loudspeaker which has been improved slightly with better drivers and cabinet bracing.

These improvements are now completed, you can see this speaker on the Products page.

Free! Speaker Measurement Software You Will Love:

The measurement software that I used for this project is Room EQ Wizard. I did not create this software, nor do I make any money from recommending it…

It’s a free download, although they do ask for a donation and I think it’s worth giving them one. Offer a small donation of $10.00 or $20.00 and start measuring your own speakers system.

The actual process of measuring the speakers is laid out really well in their manual.

Anyone can do this… Go to Room EQ Wizard software!

Sound of the Instrument 2 LoudSpeaker System:

These speakers image extremely well. I will not go quite so far as to say that they throw as deep of a sound-stage as say the Avalon Opus, but they are close.

Imaging would be comparable to the Avalon Eidolon I believe. They definitely image better than any of the Thiels I have heard. That includes the Thiel 7.2’s, 2.3’s, and 2.4. And I am not knocking Thiels, I really like their loudspeakers.

Voices are very natural and sound real. The sound is like you are there in the Blues bar with the performers. If audio home speaker testing

is implemented first, the design has a very good chance of being successful.

Transient performance of the

Vifa XT25 tweeter pictureInstrument 2

is excellent, lots of punch and authority. There was plenty of bass extension available here. The bass goes every bit as deep as say the Thiel 7.2 flagship loudspeaker or the Wilson Maxx Series 3.

Bass Notes, Articulation, and Slam:

Bass lines are tracked fairly well. Double bass instruments sound like the real acoustic instruments.

Bass notes are not quite as well articulated as with some other loudspeakers such as the P39-F loudspeaker from Klipsch which cost about 20,000 USD. I think I should have used a slightly higher quality bass driver when looking back.

However, the midrange and treble of the Instrument 2 seemed more lifelike to me than the Klipsch. The illusion of Presence, of being in the company of performers to me was much higher on the Instrument 2.

So, the big Klipsch speaker made me think that – in the bass articulation department- Instrument 2 was giving up a bit of ground. I do not mean bass extension- because Instrument 2 had more extension, but only in articulation alone.

There is no lack of bass impact or power but as I pointed out above some smaller drivers have a bit more lifelike presence in the upper bass region say around 80 to 150 Hz. This is probably caused by the smaller drivers having more speed in that area of the frequency spectrum but there is a trade off…

Small drivers usually have a higher resonant frequency or Fs and because of this their deep bass extension is limited. So it would probably be better to use a slightly larger mid-range driver that would work well with the tweeter. This, instead of decreasing the size of the bass woofer yielded better results with audio home speaker testing.

This would mean keeping the same bass driver used but moving the mid-range driver up in size to cover the upper bass region. Increasing the size from a 4.5 inch driver to a 6.5 or 7 inch driver would improve these results. Then the 15 inch driver would be relieved of upper bass duties and the crossover point would shift to around 90 Hz instead of 180 Hz.

It seems there is no free lunch with picking drivers and audio home speaker testing. The best home speakers large drivers with low Fs equal deeper extension. But the Qes and Qts affect the low bass roll-off as well.

The Qes and Qts parameters are factors that affect the driver being best used in a ported, dipole or a sealed cabinet.

The Revision Kit using Upgraded Parts and Drivers:

The revision for this speaker now uses the Usher 8945a midrange driver, in combination with the same MB quart bass driver. The results are promising.

I will post an updated review when I have done additional audio home speaker testing and lived with this change for a while.

The bass/midrange crossover point would be lowered to 90 Hz allowing the mid-driver to play the upper bass lines with more articulation.

Here are the review numbers as reflected to the other speaker reviews on this site. Compare these other speaker reviews here.

Instrument 2 ratings:

Sound staging: 8.5 out of 10

Imaging: 8.5 out of 10

Transparency: 7.5 out of 10

Dynamics 8.5 out of 10

Neutrality: 5 (neutral= 5)

Value: 10 out of 10 extraordinary value for the overall price.
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