There is no reason to believe that a standard rectangular design is necessarily the best. But there is also no reason to believe that a bizarre design is any better. In the end, I'm with you - I want my speakers to disappear both sonically and visually. I don't think I would ever buy a speaker that sounds great but is constantly screaming: "Hey look at me!!!"
All I know is I'm shaped like a ham and nobody takes me seriously.
Sincerely, I remain
clueless: R U smoked or salt cured? the seriousness with which you're regarded may be affected very directly by your answer.
with respect for myself and without excuses, i remain the
Clueless, if you are indeed shaped like a ham, you should seek egg shaped speakers. Everyone knows ham and eggs belong together.
Or if you are from Indiana, Hammond eggs.
~~~~Clueless, Stay away from Killerpiglet!
Just the Facts!
Some speakers are designed / shaped a specific way for technical reasons. Many times, this type of product can be done so that they don't stand out from the crowd or at least do it in a manner that is not "over the top". Then there are the other times it is for sheer attention getting and cosmetics i.e. "art for arts' sake".
Clueless: As to being shaped like a ham, that really doesn't matter. We've read your posts and already KNEW you were a ham. As such, being shaped like one only seems to go with the territory. I wouldn't worry about it though, as it looks quite natural and you carry it well : ) Sean
PS... We still love ya anyhow...
You know, when I consider the shape of all things natural, the essence of sound/music itself and the shape of the vast range of musical instruments used to MAKE the music reproduced by audio systems, i.e., the fact that not one (to the best of my knowledge) is a square or rectangle (or simple variations thereof); that indeed most are about as far from being of such simplistic geometric shapes as you can get, it stirs me to thinking that perhaps it is the vast majority of conventionally designed/traditionally-shaped speakers that should not be taken anywhere nearly as seriously as they have been by those in pursuit of the so-called absolute sound.
Fam124, such spiritual words. What do you mean exactly? What is the human avocation to ascribing qualities to things, animals and persons based on their physical properties (like garden-hosed sized speaker cables obviously producing better bass because any fool can see bass is a "BIG" sound and "BIG" things require a lot of space)called? Is that what B&W are thinking with seashell-like Nautilus speakers? They sound more "natural" because they look more "natural"? I, on the other hand, have never seen an organic looking watch movement. I am not taking aim at any manufacturer in particular, but what got me thinking were Norh speakers. I can honestly say I have never seen such grotesque creatures posing as speakers before. Maybe they look better live. I think that generally the physical aspect of the equipment and the immediate individual reaction to it cannot be dismissed in the listening qualities attributed to components in their subsequent audition. I suggest that some audiophiles actually believe a thick and expensive faceplate on electronics assures better sound. Now, we have a new absurd debate on "industrial design" looks vs. "organic looks" and how this affects the audiophile experience! I agree the math behind that seashell is a lot more complicated than a neat box, but is all this a marketing ploy based on symbolism or does it have some actual application to enhanced sound reproduction?
Well, I am in way over my head here. I like box speakers very much. I listen to ones I made myself based upon Northcreek.
Lots goes on inside a cabinet. If you tear apart an Ariel(Lynn Olson's famous speaker), for example, you see a lot done inside to deal with the consequences of placing drivers in Boxes. Pretty clear boxes are not perfect enclosures. Sean, in another post, recently talked about working on a speaker that has each driver in a separate enclosed tube to minimize internal pressure, internal standing waves and "crosstalk." Any decent speaker deals with this stuff and it's not easy.
Just look at the theory/tweaking behind transmission line speakers (Look at t-linespeakers.org. for a little info.) Some of the B&W Nautilus stuff can be understood as another step in this long experimentation. (There is a great picture of a large B&W Nautilus cabinet at that site.)
Speaking of B&W I think they do a decent job and their looks are not necessarily the strong point. I remember reading one review of the 803 where the first thing the guy said was it's not a bad speaker if you do not mind having a speaker that has a turkey baster on top of it in your living room. And the 802, well it looks like a speaker with a ham on it. These designs are not going to exactly float everybody's boat.
The Nautilas was first conceived, I believe, based upon stealth technology (I'm gettin further and further in over my head). All it does, to keep it simple, is deflect sound waves in a direction they do no harm. The enemy shoots up radar and the angles and materials of the plane do not shoot them back - you're "invisable." B & W took the idea to deflect sound waves back into the speaker enclosure where they do not interfere with the drivers. Can't do this with a simple box. Probably not the only answer, certainly not the cheapest, but I think that is the general idea. Get a good used price on the 802s or 803s and you have a pretty good speaker if you ask me.
I've heard the nOrhs and I like them. I took an entirely different view of them. They are made in Thailand as far as I know by folks who live there. If you look at the angles and stuff and then at Thai art and architecture....The first time I looked at them I thought "well, they could have packaged these to be more acceptable to the U.S. market where everybody expects a speaker to look like a box." If they were trying to tie into the "organic lifestyle" movement I'm not certain they succeeded. I concluded they were folks on the other side on the planet doing it their way.
I totally agree with you Pbb, if folks are just doing things for no reason they should be debunked (there is a lot of hype in the industry), but, with regard to speakers, I don't believe that everything that's not a box should be rejected.
By the way I've noticed a theme in your posts. You've rejected vinyl because it sounds like bacon (frying) and now speakers because they look like ham. Can we expect a retort of tubes because they look like link sausages?
Sincerely, I remain
And cables, cuz they look like spaghetti? And class A amps because they get as hot as frying pans?
Bacon frying was actually mentioned the first time by Bishopwill in the thread started by someone on the ground floor, so to speak, of the analogue/vinyl thing (although I have used the expression in the past). The ham thing, I borrowed from another of the fine people putting lines together for this cyberspace discussion. When I caught a glimpse of the Norh, I was sure that was the speaker he was referring to. It's only later on that the newer B&W speakers came to my mind as the possible source for that description. Being of the waffling, "let's hedge our bets" type, I still own a turntable and I have not gotten rid of my LP collection. I have just gotten delivery of a CD replacement for my copy of the LP "Tales of a Courtesan" by the Toshiko Akioshi Lew Tabackin Big Band and just to reassure myself that my sorties on the side of digital/CDs are called for, I put the old LP on the turntable and the new CD in that nasty little drawer and attempted to a/b the two. My problem is that my analogue front end level requires that I crank the volume control almost to the very top of its range, while the CD player is loud enough at about the 11 o'clock position. So I have to adjust the volume as best I can when going from one to the other. Very interesting comparison. I am not going to turn this into a career, but they do sound different. Years ago, I tried the same sort of process with a Dire Straits recording and came to the conclusion that, aside from surface noise, it was a very close match sound-wise. So still waffling, I'll hang on to the turntable, but the CD player will remain the primary source. They do sound different enough though on this big band recording, which has me puzzled. On the box vs. ham thing, yes there may very well be some benefit in being able to analyze more complex organic-like structures and to find manufacturing processes and materials capable of bringing any benefits derived from such shapes to market. I still think that most people are greatly influenced by the look of a component though and that may, and probably does, colour their judgment of the actual aural quality of the component. I wonder what vision impaired people listen to and for in sound systems. This could possibly be a valid source of information based more on the sound quality itself, independent of the look of the product. Although I am sure that the blind do use touch more than sighted people to understand the world. This audio stuff can really cause a serious case of rambling on, so I'll cut out for now. Regards.
Did I actually use the word "waffling" as in "waffle"? Unintentional, I assure you. Maybe my obssession is more with food than with audio? Can one of the psychoanalists frequenting this site tell me which is worse: the audio or the food one?
The standing wave thing is why most manufacturers use odd shapes. Sooner or later these guys throw in the towel and make conventional looking units even if they hide the odd shape inside a box. The "ham shaped" Norh speaker is really a drum with both ends dammed up. The country of origin supposedly makes a lot of these drums for cerimonial purposes. Do they work as musical enclosures, don't know. There are a lot of fanatical owners who believe they do. I for one would find it hard to get past the odd shape. My wife and her friends think my obsession with sound is wacky anyway and these hams, I mean drums, I mean speakers would certainly confirm their suspicions.
Has anyone else read the latest article in Audio Xpress about cabinet vibration due to driver excitation ? VERY interesting article to say the least. You do have to read between the lines, but it does "debunk" a lot of what "tweakers" have always thought was "good" when building DIY speakers. Sean
Pbb, I was most certainly NOT talking aesthetics. Clearly, the notion of sparking "debate on 'industrial design' LOOKS [emphasis mine] vs. 'organic looks'" WOULD be inane. Ditto as to change for change's sake, "symbolism," vapid "marketing ploy[s]" and so on and so forth. Rather, I was talking about form from which hopefully may follow vastly improved function; the notion of breaking ranks with traditional/conventional boundaries, e.g., square/rectangular enclosures, exploiting current/breaking technology that will allow for the infinitely more complex calculations necessary to conceive speaker shapes vastly better suited to reproduce the natural/organic phenomenon that is music/sound.
I'm thinking of a full range folded horn design in the shape of the Edvard Munch "Scream" with a Lowther driver in the mouth and the the horn mouth emerging from the arse.
This should afford some technical challenges while addressing both audiophilogical and metaphysical issues.
Advance orders, anyone?
Good Bishop, have you any idea the difficulty with the crossover!?! I say run it closer to the arse than the mouth! And Lowther doesn't make a driver for the mouth!!!
Sincerely, I remain
Oh, I dunno. A one-tube active design--I can think of the perfect place for the tube--couple of inductors just below and behind the tube....what's the problem?
As I'm down here in Orlando, we can call it the Mouth of the South. Or, instead of Altec's Voice of the Theatre, we can have the Arse of the Theatre.
No remarks about splattery sound, though. Nor do I want to hear anything about audible flow turdulence....I mean turbulence.
I'll go now before the moderators get on my case.
I think a good Polish ham sounds as good, if not better, than Bose 901's.
The polish ham is easier on digestion too!
Sincerely, I remain