Quadrature DSP 5 Speaker review

quadrature DSP model 5

Quadrature DSP Model 5 [hiendy.com]

A review of an early DSP speaker system (1996) written by someone who knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the theoretical and technical side of things. It contains a very interesting nugget (highlighted) that answers a question I asked in my piece on building my speakers, and it includes some by-now-familiar accounts of the sound of DSP…

The Model 5 presents a startling, almost shocking amount of detail without having even a hint of excess treble. Moreover, it produces similarly startling stereo image quality. The Model DSP 5 simply vaults to near or at the top in these qualities. How is this possible? The answer seems to be in the phase linearity attainable by DSP.

Everyone knows that phase linearity above the midbass is of highly secondary importance as far as tone quality and tmbre are concerned.’ Tonally, moderate phase irregularities are essentially inaudible as far as timbre is concerned. But it is important to realize that the oft-quested researches on ‘Inaudibility of phase” in the higher frequency were about timbre only. When it comes to resolution and imaging the story could change. And I am becoming convinced that it does.

Not to head too far into theory, let’s just recall for a moment that localization of sound sources involves interaural timing differences down to a resolution level of one one-hundred-thousandth of a second. In this context, it seems unsurpnsing that time-correct behavior of speakers could be important for imaging…

…  All you have to do is listen. If your experience is like me you will be something like flabbergasted to hear, say. each individual member of large choruses standing before you, as it were. “Veils removed” is some nonsense cliche, and not really the right description. The effect is more of bringing a pair of binoculars into focus. Bingo—with focus achieved, there is the sharp picture. But the sharpness is not that of edginess, of the pseudo-detail of rising top end. This is clarity as clarity is in reality, natural but defined.

I’m fascinated by the various types of speaker cabinet that exist, this one being half way between the traditional monkey coffin and slim floorstander. Those razor sharp square edges, yet it sounds amazing – can edge diffraction be as detrimental as some say it is? It may be possible that the grille (not shown in the picture) provides a smoothly-shaped surround, but the veneer on the baffle suggests they’re meant to be used without grilles if desired.


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