Review: Reference 3A Reflector monitors

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
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#21
People think mostly about vibration control and isolation - IMHO draining energy in the equipment and from the equipment is also the key in tuning a system.
Sure, but I do think many times people want some vibration and the feedback loop created by vacuum tubes is one of the reasons people like tubes.
 

PeterA

Active Member
Dec 7, 2011
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#22
I would like to add one more observation about the listening session at Al's house and I don't recall reading this in the review. The sweet spot with the Reflector speakers in the current configuration is very small. The center image falls apart pretty quickly as soon as you move to the side of the center listening seat. I wonder if this has something to do with the wave guide surrounding the tweeter, or the toe in angle as recommended by the manufacturer. I don't recall the sweet spot being quite as narrow with the lower model 3A monitors.
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#23
If the sweetspot was wider with the older speakers, it cannot have been by much. I believe that has to do with the speakers and the listener off the sweetspot being close to the side walls. In your room both speakers and off center listening spots are well away from side walls, and there is a wider range within which you have a recognizable center image.
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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#24
Perhaps it is proximity to side walls, but it may also have to do with how close you sit to the speakers themselves. When in the left seat, you are quite close to the left speaker, so the listener gets a lot more direct sound from one speaker and more loudness than from the other speaker. So, you don't think it has to do with the tweeter wave guide, the dispersion pattern of the speakers or the degree of toe in?
 

ack

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May 6, 2010
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#25
Peter, I am struggling to figure out whether you eventually really liked what you heard or not. You appear to be dancing around what you really think... Am I wrong?
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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#26
Peter, I am struggling to figure out whether you eventually really liked what you heard or not. You appear to be dancing around what you really think... Am I wrong?
Ack, I am sorry that you are struggling with anything that I have written on this thread. I did not mean to be vague with my impressions. Rather, I tried to be quite clear. I really liked the sound at the end which is as I remember from the last time I heard Al's system. And Al's wonderful review corresponds to the sound I heard once the footers were removed from under the amps. But those are just my impressions. Al and Madfloyd seem to have liked the sound with the new footers under the amp. Perhaps we should take this offline and discuss within our audio group.

I apologize to Al for taking the focus of this thread away from the content of his great review and toward my actual listening impressions from a couple of nights ago.
 

Al M.

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#27
Perhaps it is proximity to side walls, but it may also have to do with how close you sit to the speakers themselves. When in the left seat, you are quite close to the left speaker, so the listener gets a lot more direct sound from one speaker and more loudness than from the other speaker.
That's an excellent point, didn't think of that even though it should be obvious. When I sit off center in your room the speaker closer to me is still relatively far away.

So, you don't think it has to do with the tweeter wave guide, the dispersion pattern of the speakers or the degree of toe in?
The effect of toe-in on center image from outside the sweetspot can be easily tested. I'll do that and report back.
 

Al M.

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#28
Ack, I am sorry that you are struggling with anything that I have written on this thread. I did not mean to be vague with my impressions. Rather, I tried to be quite clear. I really liked the sound at the end which is as I remember from the last time I heard Al's system.
Yes, that was clear not just from what you told me, but also from what you wrote on the thread.

I apologize to Al for taking the focus of this thread away from the content of his great review and toward my actual listening impressions from a couple of nights ago.
No problem, Peter. I made some more comparisons with and without footers yesterday and will open a new thread on this later today. In the meantime I hope the footer discussion can pause here until I open the new thread for it to continue there.
 

DaveyF

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Aug 1, 2010
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#29
Al, while you are at it, might want to see how the Reflector's sound placed straight ahead- with no toe-in. I have found that in many cases in smaller rooms, this is the best set-up for stage width and depth. The sweetspot usually increases in this set up..although many times marginally.
 

Al M.

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#30
Al, while you are at it, might want to see how the Reflector's sound placed straight ahead- with no toe-in. I have found that in many cases in smaller rooms, this is the best set-up for stage width and depth. The sweetspot usually increases in this set up..although many times marginally.
Sure will do, thanks for the suggestion, Davey. A while ago I thought the strong toe-in was necessary to get the best result, but with my acoustic improvements more recently I found that requirements relax a bit.
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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#31
Al, while you are at it, might want to see how the Reflector's sound placed straight ahead- with no toe-in. I have found that in many cases in smaller rooms, this is the best set-up for stage width and depth. The sweetspot usually increases in this set up..although many times marginally.
That is an interesting suggestion. I can not imagine the stage becoming even bigger - wider and deeper. It is already huge in Al's system, but the great part is that instruments and vocals are more or less scaled convincingly, from small scale string quartets, to solo piano, to singer or choir, and within the limits of the front of his room, the size of an orchestra. One of the really good qualities is Al's sense of space, scale, and big, holographic sound - from the sweet spot.
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#33
Al, while you are at it, might want to see how the Reflector's sound placed straight ahead- with no toe-in. I have found that in many cases in smaller rooms, this is the best set-up for stage width and depth. The sweetspot usually increases in this set up..although many times marginally.
O.k., finally I have done some tests. Having the speakers pointing straight ahead, no toe-in, only has disadvantages with these speakers. Loss of highs, perceived dynamics and perceived transient speed; in general flatter tone, less listener involvement. The image becomes a bit wider but also less focused. This is with the configuration of almost equilateral triangle. I also tried what happens if I move the listening chair much further back, a few feet. It is better, but still no comparison with the pronounced toe-in.

No wonder that the manufacturer recommends for these particular speakers the almost on-axis position described in my review. It all depends on speaker geometry.

Having a bit toe-out from the configuration specified as preferred can work, but full toe-out does not.

As for the image outside the sweetspot, sitting towards the side: the more you toe out, the more it becomes a single speaker affair. With pronounced toe-out I hear only the speaker next to me; sitting on the left, all the sound seems to come from the left.

Enough experiments, back to listening to music.
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
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#34
O.k., finally I have done some tests. Having the speakers pointing straight ahead, no toe-in, only has disadvantages with these speakers. Loss of highs, perceived dynamics and perceived transient speed; in general flatter tone, less listener involvement. The image becomes a bit wider but also less focused. This is with the configuration of almost equilateral triangle. I also tried what happens if I move the listening chair much further back, a few feet. It is better, but still no comparison with the pronounced toe-in.

No wonder that the manufacturer recommends for these particular speakers the almost on-axis position described in my review. It all depends on speaker geometry.

Having a bit toe-out from the configuration specified as preferred can work, but full toe-out does not.

As for the image outside the sweetspot, sitting towards the side: the more you toe out, the more it becomes a single speaker affair. With pronounced toe-out I hear only the speaker next to me; sitting on the left, all the sound seems to come from the left.

Enough experiments, back to listening to music.
Interesting. Your findings confirm what you had originally thought. Always a good idea to experiment, as without that you wouldn’t have known. Clearly, in your room, the toe in set up is required for best results.
You never really know with this stuff, and many times , at least IME, we can be surprised. Like you said, back to the music:D