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BeoLab 50

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davieav
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davieav posted on Thu, Jul 20 2017 8:39 AM

anyone else spot the diagram on peter pans messaging pages ? Smile

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Emil Jensen
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But do we have more information about the Beosound Core?

I cannot seem to find a manuel.

In the new pricelist it have taken over Essense MKII which now must be AOL.

Beolab 20, Beolab 17, Transmitter 1

olvisab
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it would be easier if every beolab 5 owners were ready to sell their speaker for buying the beolab 50.

the beolab 5 are so iconic and are still excellent speakers.

I am personnally glad to see there is now in the bang olufsen portfolio something I can desire and would improve significantly my set up (without having my wife on my back)

 

beolab 5, beolab 9, beolab 3, beolab 10, beolab 5000, beolab 8000, beolab 3500, IWS 2000, beovision 7 55 mk2,  beotime, beogram 7000 white mmc2, beosound ouverture, beosound essence, beomaster 900 RG de luxe and the collection continues...

Putzgrilous
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What kind of preamp would you use to drive 4x BL5?

What I would like to know is if all this BL50 magic isn't 90% due to the room compensation feature.

If you run 4x BL5 from a Beosystem 4 you will have sound spread all over your room, in all directions as they are very wide. If you run the same setup from a preamp with Dirac Live, for example, the sound will be much more detailed.

I've tried this configuration in my 7.0 setup (1x BL10 4x BL5 and 2x BL8000) and the improvement was very impressive. Still I'd like to hear a pair of BL50 for comparinson.

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Geoff Martin
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beocool:

Looking at the spec of the Beolab 50 I wonder about three things:

 

  1. The frequency range of the Beolab 50 is bigger than that of the Beolab 5. Yet the Beolab 5 was a 4 way system and the Beolab 50 only has 3 frequency ranges. Why then is the frequency range bigger? Has there been great progress in drivers or is is down to digital processing?
  2. The acoustic lens was abandoned for the Beolab 90. Why is it still in use on the Beolab 50? If more drivers give better performance. then it wouldn't have been much that more difficult to include a certain number of smaller tweeters, would it?
  3. Why are all the internal amplifiers rated at the same output? I would expect the bass drivers to take most of the power. Is is that from a production point of view it's easier to use the same amplifier?

 

 

Hi BeoCool,

1. The answer to your first question can be both simple or complicated... The simple version is "The Frequency range of a BeoLab loudspeaker is, more or less, whatever we want it to be." This is because the frequency range is (ignoring any level-dependent changes, which do, indeed, exist) is a product of the sound design - the linear frequency / power response of the loudspeaker at lower listening levels. If the listening level were low enough, we could make a 1" tweeter have a wider frequency range than a BeoLab 90 - it just wouldn't be able to play as loudly... The more complicated question involves the non-linear behaviour of the loudspeaker (either intentional or unintentional), since the frequency range varies with level. I've tried to explain this (more or less reasonably well...) on my website here: http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2014/10/15/bo-tech-reading-specifications-part-1/

2. Of course, it would have been possible to include more tweeters in the BeoLab 50 - to be more like the BeoLab 90. However, speaking from a purely quantitive perspective, this would have also meant more amplifiers, more DAC's and more processing. There is also the questions of design and intention. From an acoustical perspective, the movable lens in the BeoLab 50 performs as well as the multiple tweeters in the BeoLab 90 for its intended direcitivites (a.k.a. beam widths), so it's incorrect to say that "more drivers give better performance" - depending on how you define "performance".

3. The ratings of amplifiers in BeoLab loudspeakers are given in "watts" merely to make them familiar in the marketing materials. From a the point of view of a developer, the number of watts an amplifier can deliver is very nearly irrelevant. Instead, we look at whether an amplifier can deliver the required voltage swing to a loudspeaker driver's terminals - and whether it (and the power supply) can subsequently deliver the required current, as defined by the voltage and the load impedance. So, we choose an amplifier for a given loudspeaker & driver according to the voltage and current it can provide (which would allow you to calculate its power - but more on that below...) and other factors such as noise floor, distortion characteristics, and so on. So, if the amps deliver what we need, and it makes more sense for other reasons to use the same amplifiers for all drivers, then this is the smartest solution.

In other words, at no point do we say "we're going to need a 350 W amp on this driver". Instead, we say "we'll seen to swing the voltage by 'A' volts on an 'B'-ohm driver which will result in a requirement of 'C' amps for 'D' milliseconds before things get to 'E' degrees on the voice coil and we have to pull back by 'F' dB at 'G' Hz..."

Another, perhaps easier way to see that the power rating of an amplifier is (nearly) useless information is to compare two 1000 W amplifiers: Amp "A" can deliver 10 V and 100 Amps (10*100 = 1000 W) whereas Amp "B" can deliver 100 V at 10 Amps (100*10 = 1000 W). Therefore these are both 1 kW amplifiers, but they will behave very, very differently...

Hope this helps.

Cheers

-geoff

beocool
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Geoff Martin:

beocool:

Looking at the spec of the Beolab 50 I wonder about three things:

 

  1. The frequency range of the Beolab 50 is bigger than that of the Beolab 5. Yet the Beolab 5 was a 4 way system and the Beolab 50 only has 3 frequency ranges. Why then is the frequency range bigger? Has there been great progress in drivers or is is down to digital processing?
  2. The acoustic lens was abandoned for the Beolab 90. Why is it still in use on the Beolab 50? If more drivers give better performance. then it wouldn't have been much that more difficult to include a certain number of smaller tweeters, would it?
  3. Why are all the internal amplifiers rated at the same output? I would expect the bass drivers to take most of the power. Is is that from a production point of view it's easier to use the same amplifier?

 

 

Hi BeoCool,

1. The answer to your first question can be both simple or complicated... The simple version is "The Frequency range of a BeoLab loudspeaker is, more or less, whatever we want it to be." This is because the frequency range is (ignoring any level-dependent changes, which do, indeed, exist) is a product of the sound design - the linear frequency / power response of the loudspeaker at lower listening levels. If the listening level were low enough, we could make a 1" tweeter have a wider frequency range than a BeoLab 90 - it just wouldn't be able to play as loudly... The more complicated question involves the non-linear behaviour of the loudspeaker (either intentional or unintentional), since the frequency range varies with level. I've tried to explain this (more or less reasonably well...) on my website here: http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2014/10/15/bo-tech-reading-specifications-part-1/

2. Of course, it would have been possible to include more tweeters in the BeoLab 50 - to be more like the BeoLab 90. However, speaking from a purely quantitive perspective, this would have also meant more amplifiers, more DAC's and more processing. There is also the questions of design and intention. From an acoustical perspective, the movable lens in the BeoLab 50 performs as well as the multiple tweeters in the BeoLab 90 for its intended direcitivites (a.k.a. beam widths), so it's incorrect to say that "more drivers give better performance" - depending on how you define "performance".

3. The ratings of amplifiers in BeoLab loudspeakers are given in "watts" merely to make them familiar in the marketing materials. From a the point of view of a developer, the number of watts an amplifier can deliver is very nearly irrelevant. Instead, we look at whether an amplifier can deliver the required voltage swing to a loudspeaker driver's terminals - and whether it (and the power supply) can subsequently deliver the required current, as defined by the voltage and the load impedance. So, we choose an amplifier for a given loudspeaker & driver according to the voltage and current it can provide (which would allow you to calculate its power - but more on that below...) and other factors such as noise floor, distortion characteristics, and so on. So, if the amps deliver what we need, and it makes more sense for other reasons to use the same amplifiers for all drivers, then this is the smartest solution.

In other words, at no point do we say "we're going to need a 350 W amp on this driver". Instead, we say "we'll seen to swing the voltage by 'A' volts on an 'B'-ohm driver which will result in a requirement of 'C' amps for 'D' milliseconds before things get to 'E' degrees on the voice coil and we have to pull back by 'F' dB at 'G' Hz..."

Another, perhaps easier way to see that the power rating of an amplifier is (nearly) useless information is to compare two 1000 W amplifiers: Amp "A" can deliver 10 V and 100 Amps (10*100 = 1000 W) whereas Amp "B" can deliver 100 V at 10 Amps (100*10 = 1000 W). Therefore these are both 1 kW amplifiers, but they will behave very, very differently...

Hope this helps.

Cheers

-geoff

Thanks for the elaborate answer Geoff Yes - thumbs up I'll read up on the link you included in your answer tomorrow. 

 

Vähintään yhdeksänkymmentä prosenttia suomalainen! 

Flere
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Flere replied on Thu, Nov 30 2017 3:26 PM
Does anybody have experience with Auralic Aries G2 driving a BL50 via USB?

- Flere

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Geoff Martin
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Flere:
Does anybody have experience with Auralic Aries G2 driving a BL50 via USB?

Hi Flere,

Until the BL50 supports 44.1/88.2/176.4 kHz on the USB-Audio input, you should use the S/P-DIF (Coax) connection instead.

Cheers
- geoff

Flere
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Flere replied on Thu, Nov 30 2017 9:09 PM
Geoff Martin:

Hi Flere,

Until the BL50 supports 44.1/88.2/176.4 kHz on the USB-Audio input, you should use the S/P-DIF (Coax) connection instead.

Cheers - geoff

Hi Geoff

I understood the BL50 supports volume commands via the USB connection.

That is why I am investigating the USB connection.

But thanks for the info that this will not work now.

- Flere

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Flere
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Flere replied on Fri, Dec 1 2017 8:36 AM
Geoff Martin:

Hi Flere,

Until the BL50 supports 44.1/88.2/176.4 kHz on the USB-Audio input, you should use the S/P-DIF (Coax) connection instead.

Cheers - geoff

Hi Geoff

I have read that you use a Mac for testing and I have read that Mac USB works for the BL90.

I assume I can also drive the BL50 via USB from an Apple Mac ?

- Flere

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Geoff Martin
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Flere:

Hi Geoff

I have read that you use a Mac for testing and I have read that Mac USB works for the BL90.

I assume I can also drive the BL50 via USB from an Apple Mac ?

Hi Flere,

I do use a Mac for testing, but this is primarily due to SW and not Hardware (I use many different hardware paths to the loudspeakers when I'm doing the sound design.)

The Mac USB-Audio connection to the BL90 does work, contingent on the settings in your playback software and System Preferences. This is because, the BL90 "tells" the source (in this case, the Mac) that it supports 48/96/192 kHz on USB-Audio, and so the Mac does the required sampling rate conversion. So, in this case, the audio is sent to the loudspeaker at a compatible sampling rate. This raises the question of the sampling rate converter quality in the audio path in the Mac. This quality is different for different playback software.

I believe that your original question was in regards to Auralic. I have tested BL90 with an original Auralic Aries and USB-Audio. Initially, this worked very well because the Aries also did the appropriate sampling rate conversion. However, there was a firmware update from Auralic some time ago that disabled the sampling rate conversion which means that it will not work with the BL90, using USB-Audio, for incompatible sampling rates. However, since the BL90 S/P-DIF input does support 44.1x sampling rates, then this is the appropriate path to use, and it works fine.

Although I have not tested the bit-accuracy of the Auralic Aries, assuming that it is sending the correct bits out the USB-Audio and S/P-DIF outputs, there will be no difference in sound quality between these two transmission formats.

The BL50 and the BL90 have exactly the same input stages (except that the BL50 lacks an XLR input) so all of this is also true for the 50.

Hope this helps!

Cheers

- geoff

 

 

Flere
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Flere replied on Wed, Dec 6 2017 11:46 AM
Geoff Martin:

However, since the BL90 S/P-DIF input does support 44.1x sampling rates, then this is the appropriate path to use, and it works fine.

Hi Geoff

Thank you a lot for the interesting and useful information.

Can you maybe reflect on the difference between the optical and the S/P-DIF connection for the BL50? Does this matter?

- Flere

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Geoff Martin
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Flere:

Hi Geoff

Thank you a lot for the interesting and useful information.

Can you maybe reflect on the difference between the optical and the S/P-DIF connection for the BL50? Does this matter?

Hi Flere,

If:

  • the sampling rate is 96 kHz or lower
  • there is a bit-for-bit match in the Optical and Coax outputs of the source

Then there will be no difference between using the Optical and Coax inputs on the BeoLab 90 or 50. This is because of a number of reasons, however, the principal one is that the actual bits contained in the two transmission paths are identical. Both carry an S/P-DIF protocol.

If the sampling rate is higher than 96 kHz (therefore 176.4 or 192 kHz), then the Optical digital input on the BeoLab 90/50 is disabled - so you can only use the Coax input. This is a decision that is made deliberately, not only by Bang & Olufsen, but by many manufacturers. The reason is that the diodes that are generating the light in an optical digital output are frequently unable (in many devices) to switch on and off reliably well to deliver an error-free signal. So, we, like many manufacturers prefer to deliver no signal than a "dirty" signal.

 

Note that in the "old days" many professionals preferred to use wired S/P-DIF (or AES/EBU - they're almost identical with respect to coding...) instead of Optical for a different reason. In those days, the receiving device probably clocked to the incoming digital signal and probably had a PLL with a short time constant (so it could lock to that clock quickly). As a result, the receiving device was prone to higher levels of jitter (frequency modulation) if it was difficult to determine the clock signal in the incoming data. Since the slew rate of the LED's in those days was less-than-impressive, the onset of the on/off transitions was difficult to detect accurately - and the result was jitter at the output of the receiving device.

Nowadays, things are probably different. For example, the BeoLab 90/50, like many modern digital audio receivers, uses not only a PLL, but a sampling rate converter to attenuate the jitter of an incoming digital audio signal. This alleviates the problems caused by "slow" LED's in the optical digital signal (in case you're connecting a 30-year old CD player to a BeoLab 90, for example....)

Cheers

-geoff

 

Geoff Martin
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Hi again,

I just re-read what I wrote and I realise that there is one ambiguous statement there. I said:

"The reason is that the diodes that are generating the light in an optical digital output are frequently unable (in many devices) to switch on and off reliably well to deliver an error-free signal."

I should have said

"The reason is that the diodes that are generating the light in an optical digital output are frequently unable (in many devices) to switch on and off quickly enough to reliably deliver an error-free signal at higher sampling rates."

That's a bit more truth-y.... :-)

Cheers

-geoff

AdamS
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AdamS replied on Thu, Dec 7 2017 1:17 PM

I finally had a chance to hear the Beolab 50s in the B&O shop in New York at the weekend and I have to say, I was a little disappointed. Yes, they look fabulous and the bass was superb, but the midrange seemed recessed, making vocals vague and fairly indistinct. The treble was also a little too soft for my liking.

On the upside, I asked them to play the Beolab 90s whilst we were there, which sounded as utterly spellbinding as ever. Even more amusingly, we were there with friends, one of whom is a former colleague from my loudspeaker design days and who loves his music and hi-fi, but has always been a B&O cynic.

Well, the track started on the Lab 90s, which was a female jazz singer, and he turned to me with a big grin on his face and said "Unbelievable - it's like she's standing right in front of me". Thumbs Up

Mikipedia
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AdamS:

I finally had a chance to hear the Beolab 50s in the B&O shop in New York at the weekend and I have to say, I was a little disappointed. Yes, they look fabulous and the bass was superb, but the midrange seemed recessed, making vocals vague and fairly indistinct. The treble was also a little too soft for my liking.

On the upside, I asked them to play the Beolab 90s whilst we were there, which sounded as utterly spellbinding as ever. Even more amusingly, we were there with friends, one of whom is a former colleague from my loudspeaker design days and who loves his music and hi-fi, but has always been a B&O cynic.

Well, the track started on the Lab 90s, which was a female jazz singer, and he turned to me with a big grin on his face and said "Unbelievable - it's like she's standing right in front of me".

Are you sure they were setup right? First time i listened to them, some nora jones played and it was like she was 3 feet away from me inbetween the two speakers. It actually gave me goosebumps. I agree that the bl90 are better, but it seems like you’re saying it’s a night and day difference, which is totally the opposite what i have experienced. Just wondering Stick out tongue

New: Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beovision eclipse.

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Old: Beolab 1's, beolab 2, beovision 10-46, overture 2300, beolab 8000's, beolab 4000's, beovision avant 32" etc. etc.

rxcohen
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Adam - I was also at the New York showroom a few weeks ago and had the exact same impression vis-a-vis the BL50 and BL90. I suspect the issues with the BL50 is that the staff did not set up the BL50 properly for the room, and second the music source (from the TV) was poor I was told they dd not have any high resolution music to demo with on the BL50 (whereas they did on the BL90). Everyone here says the sound in amazing, so i was very surprised by the results. On top of that the speaker casing was full of fingerprints and looked somewhat dirty, which left me with an overall poor impression. My BL1+BL19 combo had a better sound. 

 

BV11-55, BS9000, BL1, BL19, Transmitter 1, Beo4, Beocom 6000, BeoTalk1 200, Sennheiser HD600, McIntosh MHA100

AdamS
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AdamS replied on Fri, Dec 8 2017 1:20 PM

Thanks for the comments, guys - I must confess I was a little surprised to hear such a difference as I was expecting the 50s to be similar to the 90s in overall character. The fact that they were so different does suggest something may have been awry, so I shall remain open-minded until I hear another pair.

The comment about the condition of the speakers in the NY showroom is also interesting, as I also thought they looked a bit grubby!

 

Mikipedia
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What were they connected to? If to the eclipse the sound settings matter very much, the difference between drama/music/game/speech/sport is huge. I just uploaded a video to youtube, maybe that gives you a better impression. The range in sound is so huge that they’re hard to record propperly, my mic only goes from 40hz - 20.000hz. Anywho, properly set up they are absolutely fabulous and only bested by the bl90’sBig Smile

New: Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beovision eclipse.

Mikipedi4 on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0WLHXZuA1GANMzYcAn5_xg

Old: Beolab 1's, beolab 2, beovision 10-46, overture 2300, beolab 8000's, beolab 4000's, beovision avant 32" etc. etc.

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