Speaker cabinet construction..

Albert Von Schweikert has written an interesting paper on low-distortion speaker cabinet construction. It can be seen at the VSA Audio Circle:


Some pretty cool ways to control resonances. Enjoy.

That's quite a conclusion you've jumped to. Am I sensing a history with VSA? I think it's fair to say that a paper regarding cabinet resonances can be written without the inclusion of porting. That's a different can of worms altogether. Albert Von Schweikert is a very successful speaker designer/manufacturer and I for one thank him for taking the time to explain cabinet resonances in technical terms. Don't be surprised if you see the occasional technical paper from the likes of Dave Wilson or Alon Wolf, "couched as science" or not. Don't forget, these gentlemen must sell what they design and manufacture. If they choose to write a tech paper explaining why their particular design may be better than that of the next guy, then more power to them.
I think this is a mischaracterization of ported designs. There was a time that I was a sealed enclosure snob, and dismissed all ported designs as "boomy one-note bass." But over time the designers learned how to properly damp a ported enclosure, and today there are many ported designs that have stunningly clear, fast, articulate bass. Everything from Wilson comes to mind.

The Stereophile measurements sections of their speaker reviews display a measured cumulative spectral decay plot, derived by attaching an accelerometer to a speaker enclosure's side panel. As you can see, speakers that have enclosures specifically designed for resonance control are very low in panel resonances, whether sealed or ported. Examples include B&W 802D (matrix enclosure, ported), Magico V3 (baltic birch and aluminum baffle, sealed), WilsonSofia (Wilson proprietary mat'ls, ported), and YG Anat Reference II (aluminum, sealed).

The B&W, Wilson, and YG are incredibly inert, and at least two of them are ported. The Magico is sealed, but a little more resonant. The YG cabinet has no internal stuffing; yet cab vibrations are nearly unmeasurable.
It goes 'round and 'round and it all boils down to how to market a speaker?
Trust your ears, what Bell Labs discovered many decades ago, and take all the white papers out there and line your birdcages with them.
Again, trust your ears and not what someone is telling you you're hearing.
There is absolutely no doubt to the fact that this is a marketing/PR piece. It is a very poor PR effort however, with little integrity. To open this piece with a blatant slam to his competitors (in no way veiled) was a very poor choice on the part of Mr. Von Schweikert. I have no doubt that the paper is based on genuine R&D (“science”) and that the resulting tactical implementation is effective. I would also like to believe that one not need spend ridiculous amounts of money on exotic cabinet materials and that this approach by VS does provide a cost effective solution. Furthermore, my comments are not intended as a slam to VS speakers but to the lack of integrity taken in publishing a public article with such demeaning reference to the competition – sounds more like politics.
I just had a discussion about "white papers" with my wife. In her case, it was white papers in the nursing profession.

In my experience (and I was a career technical writer for three decades), white papers are propaganda with scholarly affectations. They are not, nor are they intended to be, objective. They are there to sell a point of view. In the case of audio, computer, and most technology-based products, it's to sell the vendor's design theory (especially if it's been patented) as superior to the competition, with an air of academia.

That doesn't mean the presentation is dishonest or untrue, but it is highly selective in the facts and subjective in the point of view.