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Dock systems and stereo separation

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byakuya83's picture
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When assessing dock systems and comparing a one box solution, such as the Zeppelin, to something like the Focal XS, does the improved stereo separation of the latter make a big improvement in the overall sound quality?

I've seen it said that no matter how good a one box solution is, the soundstage is always very narrow and the quality can never compete with something that uses separate speakers. Just wondering how much truth there is to that statement.

nopiano's picture
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RE: Dock systems and stereo separation

byakuya83 wrote:
I've seen it said that no matter how good a one box solution is, the soundstage is always very narrow and the quality can never compete with something that uses separate speakers. Just wondering how much truth there is to that statement.

I think there are two issues there:-

1.  Yes, the soundstage is by definition narrow when it emanates from one unit, however wide the unit is.  Tricks that alter the phase or beam sound outwards are only tricks!

2.  The *quality* is completey different, and will usually be unrelated to the separation.  Think one Sonos speaker versus a pair of cheap PC desktop speakers. The Sonos quality is better, but has less far less separation.

 

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SnowyJohn's picture
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RE: Dock systems and stereo separation

But the separation feels gooooood.

 

I, for one, bought an rCube last year in a sale, and whilst it sounds clear, I just prefer the experience of listening to my Aktimate Mini's more.  I've come to the conclusion that the soundstage is probably commonly too narrow on single speaker units... It's affects my perception of quality sound.

SnowyJohn's picture
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RE: Dock systems and stereo separation

But the separation feels gooooood.

 

I, for one, bought an rCube last year in a sale, and whilst it sounds clear, I just prefer the experience of listening to my Aktimate Mini's more.  I've come to the conclusion that the soundstage is probably commonly too narrow on single speaker units... It's affects my perception of quality sound.

 

 

... Thought I'd say that twice...  embarassed

byakuya83's picture
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RE: Dock systems and stereo separation

SnowyJohn, that makese sense.

I used a cube too and think the car stereo sounds better due to soundstage and separation.

It's a perceived quality to my ear.  I wonder if it's the same for the B&W A7 which is said be room filling.

Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 242
RE: Dock systems and stereo separation

I have a meridian f80, the daddy of all 'docks'. I have to say lack of stereo separation isn't a problem at all . Helped by the clever 'wide' DSP setting it has, but even when used without it sounds superb. Can't imagine many, if any, desktop speakers bettering it

obviously it's top of the price range so not exactly representative of the genre. It does show that separation per se is not a showstopper tho