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Is stereo still a thing? aka. Is one BEOPLAY A9 MKII enough?

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BlindZenDriver
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BlindZenDriver posted on Fri, Jan 4 2019 11:22 PM

So in my living room I have a nice classic stereo setup as in Squeezebox, D/A converter, high end amp and two big passive speakers (sorry, not B&O) and I am considering a music solution for the bed room. As I try to keep things as simple as possible for the bed room I am considering a BEOPLAY A9 MKII, however I wonder about stereo with such a setup - is there such a thing as to simple a setup?

The question is really both a BEOPLAY A9 MKII question, but also a general one when looking at all the active one speaker setups that are being bought these days. It sort of has me wondering - all the work I did with how my speakers was placed in my living room with my, now old school, setup is that just not needed anymore? Or is it that the convenience of just the one speaker has won over the loss in audio quality? Or is the truth somewhere in between?

Bottom line. Being used to listening to a good classic stereo setup will the A9 work for me, or am I serviced just as well by just cranking up the volume in the living room when locating my self in the bed room?

Also. A bit off topic for this thread, but I plan to have my Logitech Music Server act as a DLNA server to feed the A9. If there is good or bad things about this do say so.

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chartz
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chartz replied on Sun, May 5 2019 11:15 AM

Millemissen:

Happy sweet-spotting 😉

MM

Indeed, but when I listen to music I do nothing else.

Jacques

BEOVOX141
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Millemissen:

Happy sweet-spotting 😉

MM

The only place where this really is an issue would be if you set up speakers with room correction tuned to a sweet spot!

Claiming mono is anything but a curiosity, is simply sad. The Stereo image does NOT necessarily require  a sweet spot, i will be present anywhere in a room.

I anyone doubt this, simply select a music track, and slide the balance to one speaker, and notice what happens, bye bye low range and and welcome pale and dull.

Where mono is king would be the Centre speaker. Reproduce the center channel on a stereo speaker and you will have about on feet of sweet spot!

chartz
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chartz replied on Sun, May 5 2019 12:28 PM

MM was referring to Quad electrostatic loudspeakers I think, which have a tiny sweet spot.

Jacques

AnalogPlanet
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I have both A9MkII and a pair of Beolab 17s and I can say that while 17s create without a doubt better stereo soundstage - still it depends quite a lot about the recording itself. I am regularly noticing albums that bring little to none audible stereo image (at least to me) even on separate stereo speakers. Maybe it is also my hearing deteriorating with the age. LOL

In other words: if you‘re not very specific on stereo image you expect, I believe A9 (especially new one with extra pair of speakers) should delight you in every sense. And, it is pleasure to look at it. A beautiful sound-sculpture in your home. <3

BEOVOX141
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chartz:

MM was referring to Quad electrostatic loudspeakers I think, which have a tiny sweet spot.

I more inclined to think he is trying to adjust the physical properties of real world to better match the B&O product range. Big Smile

poodleboy
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I have owned a MK1 for a long time. The L/R drivers are mounted on a convex surface that seems to point the more directional drivers slightly outward, with a back-firing woofer. It is a great physical design like a sub-satellite system all-in-one. The soundstage is amazing to me, especially in big space. 

We mainly use it outdoors and play it LOUD. Maybe that is why it is not as appealing in a single room? They could use the design philosophy in smaller and battery versions...

I think it is the greatest B&O value of all. 

toptip
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Actually, this is not a bad idea. Clearly using one half of an A9 is “wasteful” but then again not completely so, as much of the power goes to the woofer, of which there is only one.

For over 10 years I have used a pair of Red Lines hanging from the ceiling as my bedroom home theater front speakers as well as for music (tried to add a picture but it keeps getting stuck at “loading”). That set up has served me well except the bass is a bit weak. To that end, I was using a subwoofer which recently stopped working. I thought, with second hand A9s getting cheaper, a pair could replace the Red Lines and not require a subwoofer.

But the question still remains: does the A9 process the signal in some way to create a broader soundstage, despite the close proximity of the drivers to each other? Some other single-unit stereo speakers do, meaning, they use psychoacoustics and “ear transfer functions” to modify perception. Some even do the same to simulate back channels. Those do not work well as stand-alone “mono” speakers in a stereo set up.

poodleboy
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If I were to do mono on an A9 it would be by converting the source to line outputs (using whatever converter necessary), splitting each, and sending identical channel output to both A9 line inputs. Repeat for the other unit. Not pretty, but simple and effective. Only question is why?

toptip
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poodleboy:

If I were to do mono on an A9 it would be by converting the source to line outputs (using whatever converter necessary), splitting each, and sending identical channel output to both A9 line inputs. Repeat for the other unit. Not pretty, but simple and effective. Only question is why?

Couple of things:

1. For movies, I think a "truer" separation may be better; and

2. Having grown up with the doctrine of how stereo speakers are to be set up, it is hard to break the habit of thinking that way!

This is how the Red Lines are hung now. I thought two A9s to replace them may look nice:

 

poodleboy
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@toptic

That is a beautiful room and the speakers look fantastic!

Millemissen
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toptip:

This is how the Red Lines are hung now. I thought two A9s to replace them may look nice:

They might ‘look nice’, yes.

But why would you want to replace two speakers with two music systems?

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

toptip
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Millemissen:

toptip:

This is how the Red Lines are hung now. I thought two A9s to replace them may look nice:

They might ‘look nice’, yes.

But why would you want to replace two speakers with two music systems?

MM

 

I thought because the A9 is a system and it has an internal equalized crossover, it may have better bass and just better sound than the Red Lines. In the end it is a powerful, tri-amplified speaker. 

But again, if it is hanging from the ceiling I may have issues controlling it, especially if it does not have a remote control, so I have to figure out if I can actually use it like I am thinking.

Plus, I think there is something appealing in using BO components in ways they were not intended to be. Take a look at this stack. I disabled the power amps and one half of the (110 +110V) power transformer in the BM6500 (to reduce standby power consumption), it just acts as a remote control receiver to control the BG 5500, the Beocord and the CD player. Those "sources" are then connected to an ARCAM preamp which feeds a SONOS system (both inside the cabinet). The BM is controlled by a (also hidden) Harmony Hub wi-fi remote control system. This allows me to start or stop playing a LP or cassette from an iPhone anywhere and listen to it in any room. (Of course the alternative is to place 8 cassettes in the Philips carousel -- also networked -- and not worry about music the next 10 hours!):

Millemissen
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Sure you can do such things....it may be fun.

You’d end up with two fullblown stereo speakers (in each their enclosure), where you’d have to feed a right respectively a left sound signal into the line-in connections and hope for the speakers to have the same volume level..........and a bunch of functions that you can’t use and have payed for.

Wouldn’t it be more fun to replace the Red Line’s with a set of BL17....if you can feed them with a volume-regulated (as an alternative to PL) output from an x-source ðŸĪ”

Or is it that you just like round curves more than rectangular ðŸĪŠ

 

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

toptip
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toptip replied on Tue, May 7 2019 10:23 PM

BL18 as in Beolab 18? I have a pair. But I do not think that would be much of an improvement over the Red Lines in the bass department, would they?

moxxey
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Aussie Michael:
The A9 will be enough for you and especially in a bedroom.

Mainly I use my BS1.

I've probably replied to this thread, but feeling too rough today to check.

I truly miss my A9. I've owned just about every B&O speaker (bar the BL50 or BL90) and the A9 has consistently blown me away and, no, you don't need 'stereo' to improve the experience.

I sold my A9 to become more portable for a forthcoming move away from the UK. I bought a BS2 which is decent, but not a patch on the A9.

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