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This is the second Archived Forum which was active between 1st March 2012 and 23rd February 2022

 

BeoLab 50

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This post has 422 Replies | 11 Followers

CB
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CB replied on Sun, Aug 13 2017 10:02 AM

valve1:
Does this mean I won't get full value from these speakers if I connect my 9000 cd player ?

You'll get the max out of what the BS9000 is able by playing CDs - if it's connected through digital coax - that's "all".

The BL50s are able to do more, but to reach this you'll need to feed them with a "richer" signal.

CD are 16b/44.1kHz. HD music is above 24b/96kHz.

--> you'll profit a home network, with a NAS or a server on a computer, and HD music files of course...

Millemissen
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9 LEE:

elephant:

Yes sadly the BL90 launch was demoed using some kit from an AV studio

I heard them demoed from a MacBook Pro using Tidal...

It was Geoff Martin's MacBook though, so it's probably been turbo-charged. Cool

That is how he usually does it (as for the turbo-charging...he'll have to answer for that).

However, Tidal is Tidal when bitstreamed, no matter what source device you use.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV

Geoff Martin
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Just for the record (pun intended...)

The BeoLab 90 and 50 have many different input choices for customers who use both B&O and third-party sources. This obviates the need of an external stereo preamp, and possibly a DAC or three. As is shown in the Technical Sound Guides for these loudspeakers, this also means that a pair of loudspeakers can be connected to B&O and third-party sources simultaneously, as best matches your equipment and preferences.

Of course, during development and testing, we use many different sources and connection protocols. Demos are done using equipment that is best suited to the particular needs of a given situation.

However, for those of you that are curious about the excruciating minutæ...

When we did the very first press demos some months ago, I did indeed use my MacBook Pro (without the turbo-charge option Wink ) connected via Firewire to a standard sound card from a well-known Danish company. That was connected via RCA Line to the BeoLab 50's Line input. The reason for this was, back in those days when we were still developing the built-in DSP, the ARC processing was still running (in real-time) on my Mac - although this was not a secret at the time - I made a point of explaining this to those that were there... (In fact, we were still tuning the ARC calibration back then - and the measurements we did in the room where the demo was done were used to help in that tuning process.) For that particular demo, I was playing music files in a good old-fashioned 44.1 kH, 16-bit file in .wav format. (FYI: The original launch event of the BeoLab 90 back in 2015 was done with the same hardware for the same reason).

The sound design during development is typically done on the same MacBook Pro with a couple of different sound cards, either using an analogue Line-level connection, an S/P-DIF, or an optical PCM, connection. Typically, I either run the Mac and sound card at 44.1, 96, or 192 kHz. I usually match the sampling rate of the sound file, to avoid sample rate conversion on my Mac.

I normally do public demos with any combination of the following:

  • Power Link sources (typically a B&O television - whichever model is in the room in which the demo is happening); and/or
  • an Oppo 105 Blu-ray player connected via S/P-DIF (for PCM audio) and Line (for DSD materials which do not transmit over S/P-DIF for legal reasons) to the loudspeakers and via HDMI to the TV mentioned previously; and/or
  • A Sony Professional CD Player from the late Jurassic Period connected via S/P-DIF; and/or
  • a BeoGram 4500 (the one with the built-in RIAA preamp) connected via Line input

Of course, all of this is just a description of the demos. Testing is different - and much more extensive.

Cheers
-g

 

9 LEE
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9 LEE replied on Mon, Aug 14 2017 12:52 PM

Geoff Martin:

Just for the record (pun intended...)

Is that your vinyl answer?

Big Smile

Maniax
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Maniax replied on Mon, Aug 14 2017 1:27 PM

Dear Me Geoff,

is there Deezer Elite in the pipeline for streaming to B&O products to take advantage of the lossless Flac format for the amazing Beolab 50 and 90?

It would seem like a natural progression to support these products.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Beolab 5 Final Edition, Beosound Moment

Martin
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Martin replied on Mon, Aug 14 2017 3:03 PM

Hi Geoff,

Have You ever used an Auralic Aries when your are finetuning speakers?

Du You have any experience with this device?

Best Regards
Martin Ström

SWEDEN

NEW! Beovision Eclipse 65 2nd generation (G1) with floorstand (from STB Brackets), Beolab 50 front, Beolab 3 rear, 2 x Beoplay A6 linkrooms, 2xBeoremote one BT, Beosound 9000 Mark III (sw 3.4), Beosound 5 (for DLNA only),  Philips Hue (all lights in the home), Oppo UDP-203, Apple TV 4K (2021 model). Beoremote HALO, 3xBeoplay Charging pad, Beoplay M5

Geoff Martin
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Maniax:

Dear Me Geoff,

is there Deezer Elite in the pipeline for streaming to B&O products to take advantage of the lossless Flac format for the amazing Beolab 50 and 90?

It would seem like a natural progression to support these products.

Thank you for your thoughts.

 

Hi Maniax,

Please understand that I am only permitted to answer questions that are technical in nature, and only about the currently-available portfolio of products and features.

Cheers

-geoff

Geoff Martin
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Martin:

Hi Geoff,

Have You ever used an Auralic Aries when your are finetuning speakers?

Du You have any experience with this device?

Best Regards
Martin Ström

SWEDEN

Hi Martin,

When I'm doing the sound design, I'm almost always using my Mac as the source. This is because I have the audio processing software on there. There's little point in using something else during the sound design process, since I can't make changes on-the-fly to the audio signal.

I have used an Aries in the past for testing, but it wouldn't be fair of me to make any recommendations or reviews (either good or bad) of third-party products.

Cheers
-geoff

benjnz
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benjnz replied on Tue, Aug 15 2017 3:56 AM

Thinking about money, I powered up the official "We're in the middle of nowhere so stores will charge whatever they like" calculator and after typing in 18333GBP with a randon 500GBP shipping it gave a magical number. I then laundered that through xe.com to give a total of 37750 NZD. Big Smile

Not too bad assuming BillC is right on 60k AUD, as that'd be a min of around 75/80k by the time it hit here! Super Angry so not a bad saving Whistle

 

BillC:
Sheffield,

 

Don't tempt me lolStick out tongue

 

And yes we get ex VAT but will have to pay GST inbound to Australia.

 

 

AUD 60k for a pair makes the BeoLab 5s a steal.

 

I really hope I heard it wrong but if not Sheffield I think you could be getting calls from Australia soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

malcolm welborn
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Just curious why Beolab 50 not on bang and olufsen web page

malcolm welborn

tph
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tph replied on Tue, Aug 15 2017 12:55 PM

malcolm welborn:

Just curious why Beolab 50 not on bang and olufsen web page

malcolm welborn

It most definitely is – the first thing on the front page in fact, and the link takes you to http://www.bang-olufsen.com/en/collection/speakers/beolab-50.

— Tuomas | Bang & Olufsen | Bang & Olufsen Create

elephant
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elephant replied on Tue, Aug 15 2017 1:55 PM
tph:

It most definitely is – the first thing on the front page in fact, and the link takes you to http://www.bang-olufsen.com/en/collection/speakers/beolab-50 .

-- Tuomas // Bang & Olufsen Create

Thank you

Does not quite settle MM and my debate as to whether the acoustic lens is variably directional

One sentence implies it focuses to the classic lonely man listening position ...

Another sentence implies it can be directed to a preferred position.

BeoNut since '75

Geoff Martin
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elephant:

 

Does not quite settle MM and my debate as to whether the acoustic lens is variably directional

One sentence implies it focuses to the classic lonely man listening position ...

Another sentence implies it can be directed to a preferred position.

The directivity of the loudspeaker can be selected to be either in Narrow mode or Wide mode. This is executed by a combination of a mechanical change on the acoustic lens, and DSP-based phase & amplitude control of the midrange and woofer arrays.

Note that the rotation of the beam cannot be changed.

So, the BeoLab 50 has Beam Width Control (with 2 choices), but not Beam Direction Control.

Hope this will settle the argument - I hate to see you two fighting...

Cheers
-g

 

Millemissen
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Geoff Martin:

Hope this will settle the argument - I hate to see you two fighting...

Cheers
-g

No need to fight - I knew I was right ;-)))

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV

SHEFFIELD
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SHEFFIELD replied on Tue, Aug 15 2017 6:53 PM

I

benjnz:

Thinking about money, I powered up the official "We're in the middle of nowhere so stores will charge whatever they like" calculator and after typing in 18333GBP with a randon 500GBP shipping it gave a magical number. I then laundered that through xe.com to give a total of 37750 NZD. Big Smile

Not too bad assuming BillC is right on 60k AUD, as that'd be a min of around 75/80k by the time it hit here! Super Angry so not a bad saving Whistle

 

BillC:
Sheffield,

 

Don't tempt me lolStick out tongue

 

And yes we get ex VAT but will have to pay GST inbound to Australia.

 

 

AUD 60k for a pair makes the BeoLab 5s a steal.

 

I really hope I heard it wrong but if not Sheffield I think you could be getting calls from Australia soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm standing by for orders...😀

beojeff
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beojeff replied on Tue, Aug 15 2017 7:42 PM

Geoff Martin:

Maniax:

Dear Me Geoff,

is there Deezer Elite in the pipeline for streaming to B&O products to take advantage of the lossless Flac format for the amazing Beolab 50 and 90?

It would seem like a natural progression to support these products.

Thank you for your thoughts.

 

Hi Maniax,

Please understand that I am only permitted to answer questions that are technical in nature, and only about the currently-available portfolio of products and features.

Cheers

-geoff

Geoff-

I know that you only discuss technical matters on here. However, I find the issue of emotional response and our RECEPTION of sound to be quite fascinating. For example, whether people tend to actually prefer sound that is not perfectly reproduced. I notice that B&O uses a fibonacci pattern on the BeoPlay A9. It would be interesting to hear more about what's behind this and also the impact of the "golden ratio" on sound. Also, some background on the movement away from stereo toward mono speaker setups and even the background of the "band on the wall" concept. I suspect that you would have quite a lot of fascinating things to say about all of these topics. I'm not asking any questions in particular. Just giving you some ideas for your blog on your website!

benjnz
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benjnz replied on Tue, Aug 15 2017 9:42 PM

Hmm wondering if my accountant will let me have them in "my office" so I can claim the GST against the business? Big SmileWhistle

 

SHEFFIELD:

I'm standing by for orders...😀

 

elephant
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elephant replied on Wed, Aug 16 2017 3:36 AM
Millemissen:

Geoff Martin:

Hope this will settle the argument - I hate to see you two fighting...

Cheers

-g

No need to fight - I knew I was right ;-)))

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

And I was having wishful thinking !

BeoNut since '75

Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Sat, Aug 19 2017 3:58 PM
Just spent 30 minutes listening to the BL50's...my advice, don't spend any time with them, they are mighty impressive, and that was with Deezer through a Moment for the record

Thankfully I don't have the space for them, otherwise.....

Staging was astonishingly good....
seethroughyou
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Just popped into my local dealer here in the UK and he hasn't ordered them, nor is he fussed or in a rush to get them as they "sell mostly TVs and don't sell many speakers". He had a pair of BL5 and is still trying to sell a few pairs he's still got in stock. That doesn't bode well...makes you wonder how many BL50s are going to be sold if they're still trying to sell off used BL5s and this new beast costs over twice the price of a BL5. I hope they've priced the BL50s competitively but at the moment I'm not so sure.

.

 

 

Present: BL90, Core, BL6000, CD7000, Beogram 7000, Essence Remote.

Past: BL1, BL2, BL8000, BS9000, BL5, BC2, BS5, BV5, BV4-50, Beosystem 3, BL3, DVD1, Beoremote 4, Moment.

.

jvdl
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jvdl replied on Sun, Aug 20 2017 11:22 AM

Strange that a B&O dealer not having the BL50 and even not order them? I was alway's the meaning that the official B&O dealer must have the complete range off B&O products in his B&O shop!

Dillen
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Dillen replied on Sun, Aug 20 2017 12:02 PM

Good way to close a business - fast.

Martin

Mr 10Percent
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Guess it depends on the footfall market for the Dealer. 

Ive also heard stories of a Dealer deciding whether to refurb the Store to the latest spec design or have the BL90s in store. I think this was confirmed because IIRC, there were a couple of Lab90s doing circuits with the Dealers to spread the cost of store stock. 

 

Overall, big outlay on capital for very few potential customers.

seethroughyou
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Dillen:

Good way to close a business - fast.

Martin

He's been there for a few decades apparently so I'm sure he's making wise decisions. What's the point of stocking speakers costing £25000 if you aren't even selling BL18s and BL20 in more than very small numbers but doing well on TVs.

.

 

 

Present: BL90, Core, BL6000, CD7000, Beogram 7000, Essence Remote.

Past: BL1, BL2, BL8000, BS9000, BL5, BC2, BS5, BV5, BV4-50, Beosystem 3, BL3, DVD1, Beoremote 4, Moment.

.

elephant
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elephant replied on Mon, Aug 21 2017 8:24 AM
seethroughyou:

but doing well on TVs

I wonder what his view of his future with the Eclipse would be

BeoNut since '75

Duels
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Duels replied on Mon, Aug 21 2017 9:02 AM
seethroughyou:

Just popped into my local dealer here in the UK and he hasn't ordered them, nor is he fussed or in a rush to get them as they "sell mostly TVs and don't sell many speakers". He had a pair of BL5 and is still trying to sell a few pairs he's still got in stock. That doesn't bode well...makes you wonder how many BL50s are going to be sold if they're still trying to sell off used BL5s and this new beast costs over twice the price of a BL5. I hope they've priced the BL50s competitively but at the moment I'm not so sure.

Interesting. I guess individual dealers will sell relatively more TVs than speakers and vice versa depending on their particular customers. I remember my local dealer saying that he was selling loads of BL18s when they came out whereas other dealers he spoke to weren't. It will be interesting to see how the eclipse does for him and his TV-focussed customers.

One thing for certain is that he won't sell many BL59s if he doesn't have them to demonstrate. A bit of a self fulfilling prophecy.

However I'm not sure that selling old stock of BL5s will necessarily impact on BL50 sales. The price difference is substantial. £23k vs £15k less EOL discount presumably.
Peter the Biker
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Just had a listening session. Even in a shop environment I can say: The stage in narrow mode is marvellous. You get every detail of a recording. Good news for good recordings.

They are worth the "Money" by Pink Floyd.

Peter the biker

jvdl
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jvdl replied on Wed, Aug 23 2017 8:32 AM

Strange thing is that in certain B&O shops in the UK, Germany you can already see and hear the new Beolab 50, but in the Netherlands (Belgium) it seems not earlier then end of august or even begin september?

Is there a reason for?

 

Activated
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Activated replied on Wed, Aug 23 2017 9:42 AM

Geoff Martin:

Just for the record (pun intended...)

The BeoLab 90 and 50 have many different input choices for customers who use both B&O and third-party sources. This obviates the need of an external stereo preamp, and possibly a DAC or three. As is shown in the Technical Sound Guides for these loudspeakers, this also means that a pair of loudspeakers can be connected to B&O and third-party sources simultaneously, as best matches your equipment and preferences.

Of course, during development and testing, we use many different sources and connection protocols. Demos are done using equipment that is best suited to the particular needs of a given situation.

However, for those of you that are curious about the excruciating minutæ...

When we did the very first press demos some months ago, I did indeed use my MacBook Pro (without the turbo-charge option Wink ) connected via Firewire to a standard sound card from a well-known Danish company. That was connected via RCA Line to the BeoLab 50's Line input. The reason for this was, back in those days when we were still developing the built-in DSP, the ARC processing was still running (in real-time) on my Mac - although this was not a secret at the time - I made a point of explaining this to those that were there... (In fact, we were still tuning the ARC calibration back then - and the measurements we did in the room where the demo was done were used to help in that tuning process.) For that particular demo, I was playing music files in a good old-fashioned 44.1 kH, 16-bit file in .wav format. (FYI: The original launch event of the BeoLab 90 back in 2015 was done with the same hardware for the same reason).

The sound design during development is typically done on the same MacBook Pro with a couple of different sound cards, either using an analogue Line-level connection, an S/P-DIF, or an optical PCM, connection. Typically, I either run the Mac and sound card at 44.1, 96, or 192 kHz. I usually match the sampling rate of the sound file, to avoid sample rate conversion on my Mac.

I normally do public demos with any combination of the following:

 

  • Power Link sources (typically a B&O television - whichever model is in the room in which the demo is happening); and/or
  • an Oppo 105 Blu-ray player connected via S/P-DIF (for PCM audio) and Line (for DSD materials which do not transmit over S/P-DIF for legal reasons) to the loudspeakers and via HDMI to the TV mentioned previously; and/or
  • A Sony Professional CD Player from the late Jurassic Period connected via S/P-DIF; and/or
  • a BeoGram 4500 (the one with the built-in RIAA preamp) connected via Line input

 

Of course, all of this is just a description of the demos. Testing is different - and much more extensive.

Cheers
-g

 

 

Digital volume control in Beolab 50 ?

Hi Geoff,

I recently was at my B&O dealer for a demo of the Beolab 50. Unfortunatelly they had not yet done any measurments in order to apply room correction (the speakers were so fresh out of the box so they wanted to give them a prolonged break-in before doing any measurments). Still, they sounded really great even without room correction and placed closed to the wall behind! I am very courious about how they will sound with room correction applied...

I would like to ask if you can say anything about how the digital volume control works and if it always (since an analog input will be converted to a digital signal) is best to feed the Beolag 50 with a digital signal. The reason I ask is that I most of the time listen at low level and my experience is that very few digital volume controls can compete with a really good analog pre-amplifier, particulary at low volume. For example, I have severel times tried to skip my (very good) analog pre-amplifier and connect my Benchmark DAC2 directly to my power amplifiers and using the digital volume control of the DAC2. However, everytime I try, my experience is the same: inserting the analog pre-amplifier and bypassing the volume control in the dac produces a superior sound quality.

I therefore would like to ask if you have done any comparison between using the digital volume control of the Beolab 50 and using the volume control of various high-quality analog pre-amplifiers?

Thanks.

Millemissen
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While waiting for Geoff to - maybe - turn up, you might benefit from reading this article with his explanations of the pros of an active speaker design.

It might give you some answer to your question:

http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2013/11/15/bo-tech-whats-so-great-about-active-loudspeakers/

Also this one might be helpfull:

http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2017/02/13/signal-levels-and-dynamic-range/

P.S. But maybe you already read those insight articles?

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV

Activated
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Activated replied on Wed, Aug 23 2017 1:58 PM

Millemissen:

While waiting for Geoff to - maybe - turn up, you might benefit from reading this article with his explanations of the pros of an active speaker design.

It might give you some answer to your question:

http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2013/11/15/bo-tech-whats-so-great-about-active-loudspeakers/

Also this one might be helpfull:

http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2017/02/13/signal-levels-and-dynamic-range/

P.S. But maybe you already read those insight articles?

MM

 

Thanks for the links. Geoff writes really good technical articles for "dummies" like me and the discussions in the linked articles are related to my question, but not exactly. What I am pondering about is the difference between digital attenuation and a classic analog volume control in the particular case of Beolab 50. There has of course been written zillions of debate articles about this in general in hifi journals, by manufacturers, in discussion forums etc. and some are in the "digital camp" saying that adding an extra link in the signal chain, e.g. a pre-amp, just adds distorsion and some are in the "analog camp" saying that digital attenuation sucks the life out of the sound reproduction, especially when you have to turn down the volume a lot.

After a lot of listening and comparing in many different systems my take is (with a few exepctions) that inclusion of a really good analog volume control makes things better when listening at low volume. Since it will be difficult for me to make a digital/analog comparison at my B&O dealer I am interested in input from anyone here regarding the difference between going in analog in the Beolab 50 using a very good DAC and a very good pre-amplifer and going in digitally?

I hope that Geoff has the time to give a quick comment too Smile

 

 

Geoff Martin
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Activated:

Digital volume control in Beolab 50 ?

Hi Geoff,

I recently was at my B&O dealer for a demo of the Beolab 50. Unfortunatelly they had not yet done any measurments in order to apply room correction (the speakers were so fresh out of the box so they wanted to give them a prolonged break-in before doing any measurments). Still, they sounded really great even without room correction and placed closed to the wall behind! I am very courious about how they will sound with room correction applied...

I would like to ask if you can say anything about how the digital volume control works and if it always (since an analog input will be converted to a digital signal) is best to feed the Beolag 50 with a digital signal. The reason I ask is that I most of the time listen at low level and my experience is that very few digital volume controls can compete with a really good analog pre-amplifier, particulary at low volume. For example, I have severel times tried to skip my (very good) analog pre-amplifier and connect my Benchmark DAC2 directly to my power amplifiers and using the digital volume control of the DAC2. However, everytime I try, my experience is the same: inserting the analog pre-amplifier and bypassing the volume control in the dac produces a superior sound quality.

I therefore would like to ask if you have done any comparison between using the digital volume control of the Beolab 50 and using the volume control of various high-quality analog pre-amplifiers?

Thanks.

Hi Activated,

The answer to your question requires some explanations - so, here goes...

Consider two signals: one going into the BeoLab 50's digital input, the other going into its analogue input.

  • The digital input's signal passes through a sample rate converter (SRC) before going further.
  • The analogue input's signal passes through an analogue-to-digital converter (an ADC) before going further.

Once you get past those, the remainder of the signal path is identical for both of these two signals if you don't make any other changes. So:

  • same algorithms in the DSP (assuming that you do not change the Beam Width, ARC filters, or the volume setting - which are all part of the processing done by the DSP)
  • same digital-to-analogue converters (one channel per driver)
  • same amplifiers
  • same drivers
  • same room
  • same listening position

So far so good. Now let's turn the internal volume control to maximum and compare the two input signals.

  • the SRC has a "dynamic range" or a "signal to noise" ratio which is a single number that states the difference in level between the loudest possible signal it can output, and the residual noise and distortion that results from its internal processing. Generally speaking, an SRC typically does not produce "noise" but "distortion" (usually due to aliasing byproducts - see this site for a fun toy to play with while you sip a cup of coffee). The SRC in BeoLab 90 and 50 was specifically chosen to have an EXTREMELY high "signal to noise" ratio (at the cost of not supporting DXD-format PCM files, as I wrote in the Technical Sound Guides for both loudspeakers).
  • The ADC (and the analogue circuitry ahead of it) also has a noise floor. If we were to ground the input of the loudspeaker's circuitry (to ensure that there is no noise coming in from another external device) and measure the ADC alone, we'd see that.

Let's compare those two: The sampling rate converter in BL90/50 has a dynamic range of 138 dB (measured using some bandwidth and some signal... we won't go too deeply into the details...). The ADC has a dynamic range of 122 dB (both of these are published in the manuals - they're not secret). Since we ensured that both the SRC and the ADC have matched maximum output levels internally (this is one thing that helps to maximise the dynamic range in the whole signal flow) then this means that, in a best-case scenario, the digital input is 16 dB quieter than the analogue input (138-122 = 16) if we simplify by intentionally ignoring other factors. Both numbers are extremely good - but the digital input "wins" in terms of lowest noise floor.

However, this compares the two with a GROUNDED analogue input which (in theory) means that there is no noise added to the system from an external device. If you connect the analogue output of another device (like a preamp, for example) to the analogue input of the loudspeaker, then the noise floor must go up, since that second device (the preamp) has its own noise floor that is added to the noise generated by the input of the system we're talking about. The total may not go up by much - but it will go up. However, this may not necessarily be the case with a source connected digitally (like a preamp with an S/P-DIF output, for example) depending on how many bits are coming out of that device, how accurate they are, and how they've done the dithering...

 

So, this means that, on a purely theoretical level, and restricting our analysis to dynamic range (or signal-to-noise) ONLY - then the digital input performs "better" than the analogue input, regardless of where the volume knob is.

 

HOWEVER:

If you take either of those inputs, and you reduce the volume level inside the BL90/50, then you not only drop the signal level, but you also drop the noise of the input stage. For example, if you set your BL50 volume so that maximum output is 70 dB SPL, then the theoretical noise floor of the analogue input (measured at the output) is 70-122 = -52 dB whereas the theoretical noise floor of the SRC is at 70-138 = -68. Neither of these is audible, not only because they're more than 50 dB below your threshold of hearing, but because they are both far below the noise floors of the loudspeaker's DAC's and amplifiers...

HOWEVER:

If you use an external preamp, then you'll probably set the volume of BL90/50 to maximum and use the preamp's volume knob, thus raising that analogue noise floor to its theoretical level of -1 dB (because the theoretical maximum output of BL90/50 is about 121 dB SPL - 122 dB = -1 dB SPL (subject to measurement conditions...)) but this is still below the noise of the amplifiers and DAC's (intentionally ignoring some details to keep things simple...)

This is certainly not a problem, since it's exactly what happens when you connect a BL90/50 to a Power Link source like a BeoVision television. In this case, the internal volume of the loudspeaker is set to maximum (which is why it's disabled on the App) and the volume of the signal is regulated (digitally) in the television. In other words, the BeoVision television is equivalent to the "preamp" in your example.

 

VERY IMPORTANT COMMENT:

All I've done here is to look at Dynamic Range - but with that restriction in mind, we get one answer to your question which is: you should do your volume control internally in the loudspeaker to maximise the DNR of your signal.

 

HOWEVER:

There may be other factors at play. Typically, an analogue preamp will exhibit (slightly) unmatched gains at low levels, which is bad, since that will swing the phantom imaging left and right. On the other hand, the preamp may have some non-linear behaviour that you like (for example, it has a loudness function that is dependent on the volume setting, or it has tubes instead of transistors for example...).

So, there's no simple answer to your question.

 

HOWEVER

Everything I've said here is applicable to the BL90/50. If you do a test with a combination of another brand of DAC / preamp / amplifier / loudspeaker, then you may not get the same (or a relevant answer). This is because (as I said above) the signal level matching of the analogue and digital inputs, and the remaining signal chain downstream (through the DSP, DAC's, and amp's) has been carefully thought through in BL90/50. This matching of signals and optimisation of components cannot be done when the preamp, the DAC, the amps, and the speakers all come from different companies. So, a "simulation" of the configuration with different components will not necessarily result in the same conclusion...

To be a little facetious - I never add salt to my french fries at McDonald's. However, this information cannot be used to determine whether I should add salt to french fries that I make at home. The test that you did with your equipment is true for your configuration. However, this cannot be used to conclude anything about another collection of equipment...

 

FINALLY:

There is no way for me (or anyone else) to predict what it is that makes something sound "superior" to you - since this is a result of your personal preferences (which is why I said that your conclusion is true for your setup - if you think it's superior, then it is...). So, although most of what I've talked about here is related to DNR, this may be of no consequence to you, personally, with your setup in your room (because maybe you don't care about DNR at all due to an excessively loud air conditioning system, for example...)

That might make most of what I've said here irrelevant for your individual tastes - so it might not be the right answer to your question...

Cheers

-geoff

 

 

Activated
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Activated replied on Wed, Aug 23 2017 3:59 PM

Hi Geoff,

Thank you for the quick and very detailed and educational answer! If I understand you correct, the standard mantra (from the "analog pre-amp is better camp") about bit truncation in digital volume attenuation is not applicable with respect to a comparison of goin analog or digitally into the Beolab50, only the sum of the noise in the signal chain prior to the final DA conversion inside the Beolab50 matters.

I fully agree that what sounds "superior" to me may not suit the taste of someone else and I also think that your definition of superior may change when you get acoustomed to something else.  For example, when I first started to use Dirac room correction I thought it sounded awful, but after a couple of weeks of acclimatization I started to like the corrected sound much better. Now I cannot listen without it and I cannot understand that my wife and daughter cannot hear when they have forgotten to turn the room correction on...

By the way, when at McDonald's I love to dip my french fries in Chocolate Sunday (the soft ice cream). I wonder if there is any correlation between that (according to my wife) distorted taste and distorted listening preferences? Smile

Once again, a big thanks for your answer.

Ake

 

Geoff Martin
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Hi Ake,

Unfortunately, there's no one-answer-to-rule-them-all...

However, generally, it's a good idea, from the point of view of signal to noise, to put the volume control at the last possible stage of the signal flow. That way, when you turn down the volume, you also turn down the noise of all the components that are "upstream".

From a simple taste point of view, dipping McDonald's french fries in a chocolate sundae seems to me to be a bad idea. But I can't comment authoritatively until I've tried it, I guess...

Cheers

-geoff

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Activated replied on Wed, Aug 23 2017 5:36 PM

Hi Geoff,

Thanks. Since I have listened to the Beolab50 I know that my questions are perhaps more of a theoretical interest. They sound absolutely spectacular even without room correction (my dealer had not yet made any measurements and hence no room correction). And they look really good to! Very timeless appearance I think....

Cheers

Ake

SHEFFIELD
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SHEFFIELD replied on Wed, Aug 23 2017 8:53 PM

jvdl:

Strange that a B&O dealer not having the BL50 and even not order them? I was alway's the meaning that the official B&O dealer must have the complete range off B&O products in his B&O shop!

BeoLab 50 are compulsory for all B&O dealers (unless shop in shop) and we are sampled, not a case of placing an order - you get them regardless....

Millemissen
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Hopefully the dealers who are 'sampled' are willing to learn how these speakers work...

....and don't have to use excuses like (as written above) having 'to give them a prolonged break-in before

doing any measurments' for not having them properly setup for costumers to listen to.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV

Duels
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Duels replied on Wed, Aug 23 2017 9:25 PM
Millemissen:

Hopefully the dealers who are 'sampled' are willing to learn how these speakers work...

....and don't have to use excuses like (as written above) having ' to give them a prolonged break-in before

doing any measurments ' for not having them properly setup for costumers to listen to.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Yeah that did sound a bit weird to say the least.
jvdl
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jvdl replied on Wed, Aug 23 2017 10:43 PM

SHEFFIELD:

BeoLab 50 are compulsory for all B&O dealers (unless shop in shop) and we are sampled, not a case of placing an order - you get them regardless....

Then I hope that those B&O shops having the knowledge and experience to set the Beolab 50 up as it should be...? (seems it cost some time to set them up)

 

 

Beobuddy
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I already received my originally, sealed, handwritten invitation.

Some dealers are making an effort by trying to distinguish themselves from others.

But still, no BL50 to be found here in The Netherlands Sad

 

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