What if I want to compare my speaker to your speaker to see if they are compatible? Is there any way to actually do an apples to apples comparison?
Let’s look at an example.
Is a PRX615M compatible with a PRX618S? I don’t have either. How will I find out?
My first idea is to check the loudspeaker manufacturer’s website to see if they have anything that could help. Maybe they have their own modeling software or GLL files I can compare.
Nope. No software and the EASE data offered is only for standard EASE ($2,330), not EASE Focus ($0). Time to start making some calls.
Good news. I found both, but they are in different locations. My friend Amy in Austin has a PRX615M and my friend Burt in Berkeley has a PRX618S. I ask them to take measurements and send them to me.
So far, they don’t seem compatible. The magnitude and phase don’t match.
I thought about asking them to match their preamp settings, but Amy has an OctaCapture and Burt has a UMC404, which has a totally smooth preamp knob. We could probably figure out a way to match their preamps with a meter, but that would still leave the measurement mic out of the equation. Luckily, I remember that Amy and Burt both have microphone calibrators.
I have them do two things:
- Calibrate the MIC channel with the calibrator set to 110dB and the microphone preamp set to -12dBFS on the audio analyzer’s input meters.
- Adjust the REF loop so that when the signal generator plays a 1kHz sine wave at -12dB, the audio analyzer input meter also reads -12dBFS.
The magnitude data looks like a closer match now. Things are looking up.
Let’s figure out what’s going on with these phase traces. Are they really that far off, or is there something I’m missing.
I ask Amy and Burt to send me photos of their measurement setups and realized that their measurement mics are at different distances from the speakers. Amy’s measurement is at 0.83m and Burt’s is at 1.6m.
I could ask them to redo the measurements, but maybe I can fix the timing offset manually. If the sub (PRX618S) was measured 0.77m closer than sub (PRX615M), then its measurement needs to be delayed by 0.77m to be in synch. I’ll use the Phase Invaders to add 0.77ms of pre-delay to the sub.
Closer, but they still don’t line up. That’s when I realize that there’s an important feature of the 2-channel analyzer that could also be out of synch. I compare the delay locator setting used with each measurement. They don’t match.
The delay locator for the main measurement was set at 3.94ms and Speaker B was set at…0ms. 0ms? I asked Burt why he didn’t set the delay locator and he said that he tried it a few times and it didn’t work.
Right! If forgot that the delay locator often doesn’t work on LF drivers. Maybe we can figure it out.
I had already added 2.24ms (0.77m) of pre-delay to the Sub because of the distance offset. If I add 3.94 more, that will make 6.18ms.
How do you add pre-delay in the field? It doesn’t exist, but there is a workaround. Try adding 10ms of delay to all of your outputs before the alignment process. Then you’ll be able to add or subtract delay from any channel. Remove any excess delay at the end of tuning.
They are still not aligned. Further investigation reveals that 3.52ms more pre-delay and a polarity inversion or 8.56ms more pre-delay and no polarity inversion give me two workable alignments. If I needed to set these up fast in the field, I would start with those two presets and modify them using their final distance offset.
Note: The proposed procedure does not test max SPL, but does compare relative sensitivity. For max SPL testing, see m-noise.
Have you tried comparing measurements through space and time? What were your results?
Will there be enough headroom?
Maybe not to measure max SPL, but we’re just comparing sensitivity. Once the inputs are calibrated you can adjust the signal generator level all day and the measurement will stay the same.