WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:37 pm

Seeing as it was a good thread at Wigwam that they don't have the guts to continue I will copy it (edited to remove waste of space and Trolls) here, and maybe some other threads that have been closed.

Disadvantage not so much activity or members

Advantage, no Trolls.

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Re: WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

Unread post by Andy-831 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:42 pm

I built a music room so my "activities" need no WAF at all, within reason I can do almost what I want.
Analogue
301 / 3012 / 2m black
401 / PU7 / AT33ev / Highphonics SUT
Phono 2 + extra PSU
Digital
Vortexbox, SBT / Teac Dac
Cambridge CXC
Amps
Glasshouse TVC, Tron Seven Linestage, Quad 44
Quad 303, or Bel Canto Set 40, or NG 300B Set Monoblocks
Speakers
Tannoy GRF Memory.
Tannoy ST100 Supertweeters
Q Acoustic 3020.

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Re: WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:49 pm

Richard Dunn

Has WAF largely killed good speaker choices, is it all now about bling and fitting in with the better half.

parcelmonkey

Not if you have a music room, no!

If it's in the lounge and shared with the family, then it might be a different story; I presume it depends on how you get on with your partner / compromises in layout and furniture, kids etc...

Richard Dunn

It seems to me manufacturers use it in design imperitive more than musical quality. Of course there are many many different design but it is the loads and loads of tall thin muti driver cabinets that seem to have largely taken over. I see no point to them apart from visual appeal, especially it seems for women.

chebby

Yes but they are only ‘thin’ if you look at them head on. They are usually very deep (sometimes by a ratio approaching 2:1) and look ugly as hell from the sides.

Added to which the almost universal instructions are to bring the speakers a metre or two into the room and away from side walls too.

So they are more intrusive than ever and take over an unacceptable amount of space in the average sized room.

It’s a major reason why I chose my AN AX-Twos because they are almost the same dimensions deep as they are wide and because they were optimised for use in corners and close to walls.

dudywoxer

Is design and style that unimportant then? I think most HiFi boxes are poorly designed from a domestic arrangement viewpoint, not just speakers. They have not changed that much in 40 years. I am lucky I guess, in that although it is not a man cave, I have a room that is more or less given over to music listening, reading etc. No TV to bother about. Speakers can be as ugly as they need to be, and can be clear of room boundaries. Fortunately the speakers we chose are not that bad to look at (as speakers go), but the black boxes live in a cupboard thing so the doors can be closed when not in use. Would I go back to things of a similar size to the old Tannoys and Huge Wharfdale's, not if I can help it, although bizzarly I would give a set of quad electrostatics house room. They may be pig ugly, but they do at least make a design statement.

I am not sure if tall narrow speaker designs appeal to women, it's just that they are less offensive than some huge cube dominating the room. HiFi reproduction is a lot further down most women's priorities list than ''some'' men. It's surprising how many females among our friends enjoy the music from the system, but openly state they would not tolerate the number of boxes, power cables and speaker cables in the living room.

savvypaul

My other half reckons that the tall slim multi-driver speakers look like 'dreadful bling'. I reckon they mostly are, too.

Electro

I don't care what shape or size ( as long as they fit in my room ) speakers are, all I care about is how the music sounds that comes out of them .

The fact that my speakers are tall slim and very deep is irrelevant to me and my wife , the sound that comes out of them sounds like live music with all the scale , impact , and dynamic detail needed to fool us into thinking it sounds real.

What more could we want apart from more of the same .

I don't want to be disappointed after returning from a live gig to a system that sounds weak , lifeless, boring, flat, and lacking dynamics so this is why I chose the speakers and system I have.:)

ziggy

savvypaul said:

My other half reckons that the tall slim multi-driver speakers look like 'dreadful bling'. I reckon they mostly are, too.

Similar situation here. I have to have speakers that work close to the wall and don't resemble a disco PA.

PuritéAudio

Speakers should be placed close to walls ( 10-60cm ) to avoid cancellations.

Richard Dunn

Electro - Well I can only talk from my design experience. They are badly compromised even though you may love them, we only know what we know, you may well love something different even more so. I know how the trend started, it was cost saving, large drivers like 12 or 15 inch are expensive and hard to make well, where as 6.5 inchers are bulk manufactured cheaply. It started wth the bookshelfs / standmounts, and I remember a couple of designer stacking them as a production solution to see the effect, they were not that happy but the marketing men jumped on the idea as an appeal in a dying market, and the term WAF was born. What helped the bling is now you can get cabinets carved into what ever daft shape you want by new quality HDF and MDF. So bling and cost saving created this and magazines and reviews and the whole industry marketing shabang got behind it, and the coin counters loved it as well, as more bling meant silly prices. Looks OK until you actually looked inside them, cheap drivers, over complex crossovers to compensate ('cos components are much cheaper than drivers). It is just another example of the industry not serving it enthusiasts, so sensible people delve into the past to find real speakers, or look at the few companies that make decent drivers like Tannoy (not my choice) or JBL that are still trying to do a good job.

This of course my opinion and many will disagree, but I talk from experience, your choice if you accept that.

chebby

My next speakers will (hopefully) be Audio Note AN-K / Snell Type K with wide baffles and shallower (sealed) cabinets designed for use against walls and in corners and efficient enough for use with normal, domestic amplifiers.

I remember a time when far more speakers had wider baffles and shallower, sealed, cabinets (KEF, AR, Mordaunt Short from the Durford Mill era, B&W etc.) Smaller to medium sized designs especially. This was when small loudspeakers were designed for use in/on book cabinets and shelves and on wall brackets. They were called ‘bookshelf speakers’.

Nowadays they are all defined as ‘stand-mount’ and demand positions in the middle of the room too! (On top of ugly, heavy stands resembling miniature oil-rigs with carpet/foot/toddler piercing spikes.)

tuga

Paul Barton of PSB manages minimise floor-bounce by using woofer arrays but that is probably the only performance advantage I can think of in regards to narrow baffle speakers with multiple small-diameter long-excursion woofers.

And the T2s I owned did look very nice with the full-height grills on.

tuga

Cabinet shape is important because it impacts rigidity, internal resonances, dispersion and diffraction (and perhaps more aspects that I can't recall).

Curved shapes have the potential to produce benefits in all of the aforementioned aspects.

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Re: WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:14 pm

dudywoxer

is all engineering knowledge bullshit- or just the bits that apply to hi-fi?

Richard Dunn

The charts and the equations we keep being fed to us by tuga copied from the web are usually just irrelevant BS, *most of the time*, and so he has no understanding of what is important and what isn't as he no practical experience, yet tells everyone what they should be doing - it has got my goat again because members are being led astray and away from their music, and that really make my goat chunter.

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Re: WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:27 pm

Beobloke

It should matter little whether a loudspeaker is tall and thin, short and wide or shaped like a brontosaurus. If it has been designed properly, is positioned according to the manufacturer’s recommendations in an appropriately sized room, and driven optimally by the partnering amplifier, then it should sound decent.

Danielquinn

There is no substitute for driver inches

Richard Dunn

Exactly it show a lack of understanding if you think 2 x 6.5 inch driver in parallel are the equiv of a 12 inch, they aren't. I compensate in a different way. There are so many thing I could refer to and explain but I would be accused of promoting, so I ain't. But *my* qualifications are here for any one to see and listen to and judge and tell people if you want, just phone or email and come and listen. You might get a cup of tea as well.

What I have said in my earlier posts is *the truth* it is how it happened, as I watched and was involved, mid / late 80's started it, it has escalated since. Who do you think runs these large speaker companies - the designers - don't be naive, it is marketing men and accountants, profit is the only important thing for them as with any commercial capitalism. Things are done to make sales not excellence. Excellence belonged to the designer who started the company, I have seen it, lived through it with AR. Clever men who sold it on to a holding company called Teledyne, and they screwed the company while I was watching working for them, pointless try to complain or explain, all these companies want is yes men and people who keep their bosses in their jobs - the truth is meaningless - it is largely that experience that has made me speak out the way I do - so I am made THE target.

uzzy

First off choose a wife who has the same or a greater love of music than you.

Second take her to a decent dealer and get her to listen to the speakers she thinks looks pretty and compare to the ones you know sound great but are ugly big boxes. With me it was acquiring a pair of Gale GS401s which she thought looked odd but tickled her musical taste buds. Then came buying an amp (in the late 70s) that could drive them properly and a decent preamp .. I brought home the boxes from work to try and first comment was "you aren't having those they are ugly" .. but we hooked a succession of amps and preamps up .. none tickled either of out musical taste buds to see anything other than ugly.

So we got to the Hafler and the Audionics preamp .. the wife was not impressed and said "no way" but I hooked them up whilst she was in the kitchen making a cuppa .. i then put on a record and sat back in the hot seat on the sofa and was taken to another place - nervana - eyes closed totally lost then a voice in my ear said "you can buy those".

When I brought home a pair of Pro9tls in not very well made chipboard cabinets (well he only wanted £50 for them so it was a no brainer as it was less than a spare pair of mids for the Gales and it used the same mid range units) she was not impressed .. until half way through the first album we played - and the Gales were no more. They probably gave me the most fun and in their time I clad the outside of the cabinets in three ply (made them look brilliant) built a decent wooden plinth to lift them up off the floor a bit and made new baffles to change the driver alignment (moved them to a vertical array with the mid and tweeter right next to each other). I then changed the mids for Dynaudio DT28 and the mids to SEAS 4" units - god I do not think I ever had so much fun as i did with those.

Then we heard the Art Impressions at a show - and the wife was impressed .. she suggested to the Dunlops if ever they were passing they should call in so we could listen to a pair at home .. and so it came to pass we have this massive ugly three box speaker that just disappear when the music is playing .. all thanks to WAF being her using her ears and not her eyes (although not strictly true we both totally loved Acoustat 4x but massive panel loudspeakers was just a tad too far for her (and she isn't wrong unless you have a dedicated listening room).

So all I can say to those who suffer with WAF .. have you ever thought that you actually picked the wrong woman :sofa:

dudywoxer

So all I can say to those who suffer with WAF .. have you ever thought that you actually picked the wrong woman :sofa:

that, although said in jest, sums up part of what the problem is for those whose hobby is the kit

Ron Hilditch

Danielquinn said:
There is no substitute for driver inches

Just as a point? Referring to Richard comparing 2 x 6.5" drivers to a 12" one. The 2x 6.5" drivers would only shift just over 50% of the air, that would be moved by a single 12" driver. You have also got to take into account manufacturing tolerances. Virtually impossible to get the two drivers synchronising.
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Beobloke

Danielquinn said:
There is no substitute for driver inches

I completely agree.

Richard Dunn said:
Exactly it show a lack of understanding if you think 2 x 6.5 inch driver in parallel are the equiv of a 12 inch, they aren't.

I never said they were! My point was that, in the same way that a tall, thin speaker won’t necessarily sound bad, a big fat speaker with huge drivers won’t necessarily sound good. Especially if you think of those resonant monstrosities from the 1970s where more than a few manufacturers appear to have designed them by throwing as many mismatched drive units at the baffle as they could, and hoping lots stuck!
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Richard Dunn

Cr*p anything is cr*p. Point being you cannot make a line of small drivers do what a big driver does.

Richard Dunn

Ron Hilditch said:
Just as a point? Referring to Richard comparing 2 x 6.5" drivers to a 12" one. The 2x 6.5" drivers would only shift just over 50% of the air, that would
be moved by a single 12" driver. You have also got to take into account manufacturing tolerances. Virtually impossible to get the two drivers
synchronising.

There is a way to do it, couple them in a isobaric config. But for a 12 inch equiv it would be two 8 inchers.

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Re: WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:42 pm

Ron Hilditch

Richard Dunn said:
Cr*p anything is cr*p. Point being you cannot make a line of small drivers do what a big driver does.

Would whole heartedly agree. Spent a considerable amount of time with a dealer in Norwich. Ayre electronics and an array of speakers. He wheeled in some Triangle speakers, looked like lamp posts with multiple drivers. After that he changed to ATC100s, what an improvement. I asked him did he manage to sell any of the Triangle speakers? Said he did, as people liked the look of them. Misses the point of HiFi entirely!

uzzy

Richard Dunn said:
There is a way to do it, couple them in a isobaric config. But for a 12 inch equiv it would be two 8 inchers.

The problem at the end of the day is a small driver will not produce low bass frequencies as they cannot push enough air (they try to overcome this by having long throw cones I think, I am no expert) and multiplying them may improve things a tad but at the end of the day their is no substitute for a large driver when it comes to producing bass.

The other problem, I think, is there seems to be a limit to how efficient a small cone is when it comes to producing bass .. I noticed when building a PA system that anything below 10inch units seemed to be far less efficient than the big boys and with 12" bass units and bigger 98db or higher appeared to be the norm.

However, having said that it again depends on other things as well such as cone rigidity etc. so there is some play off in size and accuracy (cone break up). A good example of this is cabinets for a bass guitar .. you can get 18inch bass drivers but the favoured combinations seems to be multiple 12 and 15 inch loudspeakers (or a 12s with 15s) to be able to produce the best live bass sound capable of playing very loud without the drive unit eventually disintegrating under the pressure.

I have no technical expertise but from my aural experiences over the years you are unlikely to achieve the emotion and punch in the gut you can get from 8inch bass drivers and bigger. I am sure the active brigade may argue against this point .. but hey ho we all have a personal opinion and that was mine.

George 47

Danielquinn said:
There is no substitute for driver inches

Unfortunately, this is true as it is the volume of air moved; speaker area x linear voice coil range (to a first approximation). I have an not too attractive speaker here but it does have a 12" bass with a 15" ABR which is can move some air.
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dudywoxer

don't we all know that for big deep bass, you need a big bass driver. It could just be more of course, but big drivers in most rooms sounds bloody horrible anyway. Noting worse than overblown bass to me. I would rather have a smaller driver that lets you hear other areas of a speakers performance than a boom box.

Lord Rockingham

My 2 cents worth is that most speakers have very little to do with WAF and IMO, the hi-fi industry as a whole, does not give a monkeys about it. It is about selling expensive bling boxes to old men.

Shadders

dudywoxer said:
don't we all know that for big deep bass, you need a big bass driver. It could just be more of course, but big drivers in most rooms sounds bloody
horrible anyway. Noting worse than overblown bass to me. I would rather have a smaller driver that lets you hear other areas of a speakers
performance than a boom box.

Hi,

If you use multiple smaller drivers whose total Sd was the same as a larger driver -would that be a solution ?.

So, 4 drivers with an Sd=100cm^2 and one driver with the Sd = 400cm^2, would be equivalent ?

Danielquinn

Theoretically yes. Empirically not a chance.

oldius

I had 12" drivers in a room in Scalford and they sounded bloody good. They were JBL studio monitors driven by a large Pass design Stasis amp that gripped them like iron.

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Re: WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:58 pm

dudywoxer

Lord Rockingham said:
My big drivers dont sound horrible and my room is only 13x12ft.

To you obviously not, but being a subjective thing, to me they may. I seem to struggle more with sounds that are more bass orientated than those that are more mid bass biased. I have the same problem at live concerts, and have been known to leave those that are, for want of a better expression ''bass heavy''.

Lord Rockingham

Speakers are an emotive subject as they are such a personal choice; much more so than anything else in the music chain, apart from maybe turntables.

I think it all went wrong for speakers, when stereo appeared in the late 50s. The distaff side of the house would just about put up with a big corner horn a la Tannoy GRF or Klipschorn as it only took up one area of the room and the amp and gramophone were in a nice walnut cabinet. The advent of stereo and more significantly the trend to separates, all on show, put the kibosh on hi-fi as a family entertainment proposition. Now the situation is IMO all but irretrievable.

What we need is a movement majoring on simplicity and good domestic room integration.

Lord Rockingham


On 05/11/2018 at 17:48, dudywoxer said:
To you obviously not, but being a subjective thing, to me they may. I seem to struggle more with sounds that are more bass orientated than those that
are more mid bass biased. I have the same problem at live concerts, and have been known to leave those that are, for want of a better expression
''bass heavy''.

I'm not trying to play down the difficulty of integrating big drivered speakers in the room, as it can be a right pig to do. It has to be taken right back to the design stage, and as Richard said earlier, it's the sales guy that tends to run the speaker company these days. They think that people want big bass and they'll make bass the sellng point even to the extreme of insisting that the already giant speakers be placed out in the room. There's a lot of obsession with bass, both within the hi-fi fraternity and the marketing rooms of the speaker makers.

Guvnor

I tend to dislike the sound of tall narrow boxes, especially ones with quite a bit of cabinet depth. Wider, shallower cabinets with larger drivers placed on stands usually sound much better to me.

I think there is a fashion trend at play as well as a cost one, but I don’t think it’s right to blame WAF. There’s no evidence that anyone’s is targeting women with the design. It is just as likely to be aimed at the buyers who are usually men.

Electro

If single larger drive units are deemed to be better go lower and move more air , why are most bass players now opting for a cab filled with multiple smaller drivers at greater expense and complication?

What about large cone break up ?

Could it be that multiple smaller bass drivers perform better?

Just asking :).

Danielquinn

Most bass players ?

Why is the modern trend to put a bass driver on the side of deep but thin cabs.

The mission 753 et al have had their day.

Ron Hilditch

Shadders said:
If you use multiple smaller drivers whose total Sd was the same as a larger driver -would that be a solution ?.
So, 4 drivers with an Sd=100cm^2 and one driver with the Sd = 400cm^2, would be equivalent ?

No 4 drivers at 100mm, would only give half the area against a 400mm driver.
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dudywoxer

because I would assume in certain configurations it works well. A fewspeaker makers are doing it at the moment. It could be a ''fashion'' thing, but it could also be it enables the midrange and tweeters to perfom better, instead of them having to fight a wide baffle.

Blackmetalboon

Richard Dunn said:
Has WAF largely killed good speaker choices, is it all now about bling and fitting in with the better half.

Or perhaps changes and trends in interior decoration have dictated speaker design.

Ron Hilditch

Electro said:
If single larger drive units are deemed to be better go lower and move more air , why are most bass players now opting for a cab filled with multiple
smaller drivers at greater expense and complication?

What about large cone break up ?

Could it be that multiple smaller bass drivers perform better?

Just asking :).

The problem with larger drivers, is they are more likely to flex and distort. If there was one easy answer, wouldn't life be a lot easier?
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George 47

Ron Hilditch said:
No 4 drivers at 100mm, would only give half the area against a 400mm driver.

I think Shadders is saying 4 drivers with an area of 100 square cms would be equivalent to one driver with an area of 400 square cms.
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Richard Dunn

Ron - If they didn't flex you wouldn't have any music. Every speaker distorts it is a choice of compromise. My point is that the compromise has stopped being about music and has become about WAF and profit.

Richard Dunn

dudywoxer said:
because I would assume in certain configurations it works well. A fewspeaker makers are doing it at the moment. It could be a ''fashion'' thing, but it
could also be it enables the midrange and tweeters to perfom better, instead of them having to fight a wide baffle.

So they prefer to fight the room than the baffle :whistle:

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Re: WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

Unread post by _D_S_J_R_ » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:57 pm

I came into this industry in the early 70's when the best speakers were BIG!!!!! The lady of the house had little to no say at all, dems were to 'himself' back then and when he got the pair of large speakers home, 'herself' would usually accept it and maybe place photos or similar on top and probably grudgingly enjoy the superior music reproduction too. By the late 80's, 'couples' came in to choose a HiFi and I remember being horrified when the lady of the house told hubby and myself in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS what she WASN'T having in her lounge!!!!!!! This happened more and more I remember and when faced with resistance on Sara or Epos 14 'open' stands for example, a suggestion of a fern or other 'frothy leaved' pot plant placed in the stand 'well,' could usually swing it if these were liked sonically. I was ever-so-slightly luckier, as herself initially would have accepted my large ATC's, but the right hand one would have been next to a regularly used understairs cupboard in our small house and as it was almost impossible to slide an 85kg lump around, they had to go - a decision I deeply (and I admit sometimes tearfully) regret to this day, especially after hearing a brand new latest spec pair last weekend (I'd forgotten how deep the 100ASL's are - effin' huge front to back!).

So, speaking alongside the posts above, WAF dominates and most of 'us' have to live with it I reckon.

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Re: WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

Unread post by CN211276 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:18 pm

I see these slim multi driver speakers as part of a trend which includes active speakers and all in one streaming, DAC, pre amp solutions. In other words glorified modern music centres. :lol: Never one to miss out on the main chance and with SQ not a major consideration, this is a band wagon the Glasgow mafia has jumped on.
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Re: WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

Unread post by CN211276 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:41 pm

I gave up reading hifi magazines in the mid 80s and from what I recall the quality speakers were as DSJR describes in his post. Things have definitely changed. The thread on Wam was very informative as I was not aware that multi drive units in a tall slim floor stander could not produce the depth of bass in a more traditional design with a larger cone.

I fail to see the visual appeal of these tall thin floor standers, especially if they can't be used close to a wall. I'm sure my other half would not either. She is ok with Cubes which look rather elegant on matching black stands. The arrival of the Cube 1s caused something of a stir, eased as it was her birthday, and the boxes are big. If they did not work close to the wall they would not have been keepers. She is fine now and has been dancing, enjoying the deeper bass. They are dwafed by the size of the tv and looking head on do not seem much bigger than the Cube 3s.
I set a course just east of Lyra
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way

NVA BMU, Sonore microRendu/McRU PS, AQ J-bug, Wirewold Ultraviolet, Chord Qutest, NVA P90SA, NVA A80sMk2, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS mk2. Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP Mk2, Grado SR 325e, headphones, Chord Mojo.

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