Home > Podcast > AVRant #152: Interview with Shane Rich of RBH Sound

AVRant #152: Interview with Shane Rich of RBH Sound

November 2nd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

You’ve asked for it, and now you have it – an interview with the guy that designs the speakers for RBH Sound (and their sister companies Destination Audio, EMP Tek, and Status Acoustics). Shane Rich is the Technical Director and Vice President of Engineering at RBH. Topics include:

  • A bit of history about Shane.
  • Shane’s design process.
  • How long it takes to go from idea to shipping.
  • Speaker specs – what should consumers focus on?
  • Too much versus too little amp power.
  • What does it mean when you say an amp is clipping?
  • Amplifier size in subwoofers.
  • Ported vs. Sealed speakers and stuffing ports.
  • How RBH measures their speakers (see below for the equipment Shane uses out in the field).
  • What is driver breakup and driver compression?
  • How a crossover affects the performance of a speaker.
  • Supertweeters – fact or crap?
  • Studio Monitors vs. Home Theater speakers.
  • The EMP Impression Series speakers – price, value, and design.
  • What is on the horizon for RBH and EMP.

Here is the portable test gear Shane uses with his laptop (you’ll be surprised):

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  1. leves
    November 4th, 2009 at 20:56 | #1

    Great podcast. Would love more like this I learned a great deal about speakers. Great to have seeing as I am about to buy new ones.

  2. November 5th, 2009 at 10:59 | #2

    Great interview. Shane is the perfect gentleman, as always… which makes him far less controversial than I’m sure Tom would want. 🙂

  3. Rob
    November 5th, 2009 at 11:51 | #3

    Awesome episode! I love hearing knowledgable people discuss their craft, so it was a real treat to listen to Shane Rich!

    The bit about individual driver performance and determining the inherent “break up” point and linearity of the driver itself – I found that part very interesting. What Shane said about using an anechoic chamber to test the individual drivers made a whole lot of sense 🙂

    Thanks to Tom for asking about Studio Monitors vs. “Consumer” Home speakers. The understanding that a Studio Monitor will be voiced so that its output is linear and flat at the nearfield seating distance makes perfect sense. I found this to be analagous to the way that an in-ear-canal earphone has to be voiced so that it does not sound incredibly shrill and fatiguing due to the extremely close placement of the in-ear driver to the eardrum.

    But some Studio Monitors are specifically labelled as being intended for mid-field use and a large number of nearfield monitors include high frequency adjustment capabilities (and usually mid-bass too). My understanding is that the goal remains the same – flat, linear response AT THE SEAT. I can see how a speaker that is voiced to be flat when sitting closer than 1 meter – even if it is adjustable – probably doesn’t allow for enough treble boost to compensate for something like a 3 meter distance instead though.

    It’s still a very interesting topic to me – the use of Studio Monitors in the home 🙂

  4. majorloser
    November 6th, 2009 at 19:36 | #4

    Shane Rich is just too modest. I would consider Shane the true brains behind the designs for RBH, EMP, Destination Audio and the ultimate Status Acoustic.

    I have enjoyed every opportunity I’ve had to talk with him and mostly just listen. He is a wealth of knowledge concerning audio and the consumer electronics business. I would love to have Shane personally build me a set of speakers that he would consider his “money is no object” speakers. I have a few examples of his work in my house. In fact, I’ve been listening this podcast with one of his latest releases, the EMP berylium bookshelves and hybrid tube amplifier (signed by Shane). I also have a pair of one of his best achievements, the Status Acoustic Decimo monitors. Hopefully I’ll get teh opportunity to obtain some of the larger Status Acoustic speakers.

    Thank you Shane Rich for taking the time for this interview and keep up all of the great work!

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