If you could put the very finest box speakers we can currently make today, against the perfect speaker, what would the difference in sound quality be? Would the depth of stereo image be ten times deeper? the width ten times wider? would you hear instruments that you never knew existed in your recordings? would the difference be so big that it would make a Magico or kef blade sound like a toy? Just how far away are we from PERFECT SOUND?!

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You sure are fixated on speakers. Okay. So check it out. The perfect speaker won't be deep or wide or anything. The perfect speaker will perfectly pass whatever signal goes into it. The perfect speaker will in other words not sound like anything. That is to say it will have no sound of its own. It will contribute nothing, but neither will it add or edit anything. Like the perfect mirror that will reflect only what is in front of it, the perfect speaker will play only what is fed into it.

As for what you would hear, some of the best speakers today are already so good they already alter the signal very little. This is even something I relied upon recently when ordering my Moabs. Sure enough, the single greatest factor in how those speakers sound is the signal coming into them. However that changes going in, that is what changes going out.  

Speakers in other words are just one of many components in a long chain of them, every single one of which affects the sound. Leaving you lots of room to branch out, should you ever decide to talk about anything but speakers.
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Jealousy ALWAYS seeks unkind words... You guys get your feelings hurt or something?

Why do you call names? Shame!!


+ millercarbon

Keep trying MC..

Almost time to feed the chickens..


Due to thermodynamics, all recording and playback systems are lossy.

Thus... perfectionism, according to physics, cannot exist. Time would also have to take a beating and be defeated, as this is tied to the thermodynamics in-situ, and so on...

Once we’ve come up with some sort of new physics re quantum function, that sidesteps the involved Newtonian centric thermodynamics/time/entropy/etc..and we can somehow apply this advance to recording audio signals.... and we can prove that the system is improved.... then maybe we can assess that possible differential between the two. Never mind the mass of the drivers and more complex thermodynamics, complex electromagnetics, fundamental forces, gravitation, inertia, dark matter, molecular bonding, etc...

the assessment of perfection requires that we be outside of all we know, extra dimensional , at the least, and then maybe we can inject perfection into the dimension we are no longer involved in.

It's Godel's Incompleteness theorem, as tied to 'perfectionism' in this dimension's reality and physics. It requires an outside location and view, to assess it. That you cannot deal with or assess the whole of the box, from being inside of it. Interference and losses are the norm, and completeness cannot be achieved. Logically impossible on all fronts. 

We'd have to be extra-dimensional beings of some sort, and then look at the smaller now fully encompassed box of this known reality we currently inhabit, and then... somehow assess the said smaller reality box.

Until then, piss off.
What teo said, +1 (especially: the sign-off)!
box speakers are dramatically more room dependant than other driver technologies due to their dispersion patterns and crossover needs. so a perfect room that is perfectly tweaked is equally significant to the actual choice of box speaker.

yet; box speakers have higher potential for cohesion since they can cover the whole frequency range. the biggest trick for box speakers is having sufficient driver surface and minimal driver excursion to stay linear in the power range of music, 40hz-250hz. the transparency and micro-dynamics of horns and panel speakers in this frequency region gives those technologies a large advantage. but box speakers can match that potentially.

so lots of challenges for box speakers, but all can be overcome with heroic execution and commitment of resources.

in the real world there is no such thing as a perfect speaker. since replicating live music with reproduction is a fantasy. but in total box, speakers can get as close as any other technology.
I have had perfect sound for years.HELLO!!
This is a question only for audiophiles and fans of Open Baffle and other exotic designs.

Most of the world is already labouring under the belief that their humble home systems are indistinguishable from real life. 

Much like those participants of the Edison Tone Tests from the 1920s and 30s.
I thought the advent of CD players ushered in perfect sound forever.
My CD players are perfect sound forever!

Happy Listening!
Kenjit, you should be telling US!!

Supposedly  you HAD the perfect speakers, REMEMBER???!!

That makes you a liar.
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I am still waiting to buy Kenjit's speakers when he makes them - 'cos he is going to make a fortune

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The Perfect Sound? That is coming on 12/25! Ho Ho Ho!!

I think this question is interesting. For me most modern concerts already use amps and speakers and may sound worse than good systems at home does. What they usually have are very high SPL and base you can feel but the state of the art system can already do that.

For small, acoustic groups there is more difference. I have a hard time pointing to exactly what it is but I would say the live music wins here. I don't have any high-end system at home but have heard some at shows and dealers and they were still not as good as live as far as I remember.

I don't go to listen to classical orchestras often but have in the past. Here there is also a difference but great systems are still very enjoyable. They may lack some of the scale or ability to sound like an orchestra playing 20m from where your are sitting.
The perfect speaker ... lets see, I can describe it, but it cannot be built. We'll start with a massless pulsating point-source sphere with linear frequency response, perfect dynamic and temporal linearity.

Dynamic linearity is whereby a change in input level equals an identical change in output. Many speakers and speaker elements are not terribly linear, rather they compress the sound. Even drivers themselves vary - a very linear tweeter with a nonlinear woofer will sound quite different, dynamically, than a speaker with the opposite situation. Horns typically have great dynamic linearity; we hear that as 'punch or 'drive' but also horns have their own inherent issues with coloration.

Temporal linearity is simply the ability of the speaker elements to respond to an impulse simultaneously. Ideally, this happens at the same time, same phase, same level, free from hysteresis (the phenomenon in which the value of a physical property lags behind changes in the effect causing it, as for instance when magnetic induction lags behind the magnetizing force). THe speaker elements are delayed while the voice coil - and crossover elements - 'charge' enough to overcome the various mechanical and electronic resistances and impedances, and reluctances (the property of a magnetic circuit of opposing the passage of magnetic flux lines), all of which hinder the temporal linearity of the speaker. Stereophiles famous impulse tests demonstrate this.

I think that when people talk about 'pace', and 'speed' of a speaker they are really interpreting the effects of hysteresis. By not having to overcome those cumulative delays, the speaker better follows the music.

So what about tall dipoles? They have three basic issues: 1) Dipole radiation patterns makes them very placement sensitive. 2) They can suffer from poor dynamic linearity as a function of the inverse square law (doubling the distance from the magnets to the wires in the panel reduces the magnetic field by 1/d^2, so doubling the distance from the magnets reduces the strength of the driving field by 4X). This is mitigated by making the gap from magnets to panel large, relative to their excursion. In turn this reduces sensitivity. 3) Off axis performance - as the listener moves off axis, the relative distances from the point of origin change, especially at higher frequencies. This in turn causes phase issues with the bass panel. Off axis on one side the woofer is closer to the listener, or the wall, Off axis on the other the tweeter is closer. Mitigation in this case is made by making the driver narrower relative to the frequencies propagated, so the tweeter panel is an inch wide, and the woofer panel a foot. Again, this reduces sensitivity because of the smaller radiating area, so the speaker is made taller. Full disclosure, I love Magnepans, but 'slam' is not their high point.

Electrostatics have all the same issues, unless the stators are on both sides of the panel, for #2 above; 1 and 3 are still shared.

The  MBL Audio Radialstrahler is an ambitious attempt to recreate the pulsating sphere, but even a quick glance demonstrates that while addressing one issue, they still have others.

Likewise the Ohm 'Walsh' driver is an attempt the address the 'pulsating sphere', solving one issue while creating at least one more.

So, there really is no possibility of a perfect speaker, there is only balancing the tradeoffs of any number of imperfect options.