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Posted by RGA on March 16, 2012 at 21:01:30:
"Most certainly not the reviewers I've known for decades. Care to cite one?"
Any reviewer who owns a stereo system who at any time in the review EVER says - "the bass on my system, however..." or "The soundstage was larger than on my reference..." - or any review EVER that mentions their own piece to compare to the reviewed piece. Please name the reviewers who never ever at any time compare the reviewed piece to their own equipment. I think they all do.
This is not a difficult concept. A system that can differentiate 20 different shades of green and lets you see the variance is better (more accurate) than one that lumps 10 of them into dark green and 10 of them into light green. The former has far more resolution and is accurately reproducing the information it is given. The latter a bucket and dumps the colours into the shades it can handle reproducing rather than reproducing what is clearly there.
"Problem only for dance club inveterates who seek little more than loud thump. Crown and Klipsch playing MP3s work fine for them."
Nice straw man - that's not the point. The fact that nightclub speakers might suck - depends on the nightclub or bar however as some use very good speakers - is that the intent of the recording engineer and the artist is that there be a powerful full sounding "thump" to use your word.
If the CD has a loud thump - the stereo needs to be able to reproduce the loud thump - or you have a crappy loudspeaker PERIOD!! The fact that some brands can ONLY produce the loud thump doesn't make them good either - yes they can do the boom boom the kids like in the clubs but then I wasn't saying those were high quality loudspeakers simply because they could do that. Those speakers may truly be abysmal on everything else they try and reproduce. Quality systems can do everything and do everything very well.
"I greatly prefer hearing Madonna on my system (especially using uncompressed 45 RPM singles) than the decidedly hard and dreadful sound reinforcement environment which is "live"."
I agree. I am not saying the home stereo should try to recreate lousy concert sound - what I am saying is that when one puts on Madonna's Erotica and turns the volume way up that that bass should be felt in the stomach and rattle you - that is CLEARLY what is on the disc - that is CLEARLY what they intend to do - and that is CLEARLY what a High End system should be able to put out into the room.
That doesn't mean it has to put it out into the room to sound like crap like a rock concert. And that is why they need to be used in evaluations because similar sound just doesn't occur in classical music (not any I've heard) and different kinds of bass at different kinds of levels is important. Some speakers illustrate dramatic differences in the recordings of all aspects of the sound while others present them within their narrow "capabilities"
The boom and sizzle (JBL) speaker will boom and sizzle on every recording and that may actually favour Daft Punk but stink on the Moonlight Sonata - conversely the midrangy Quad 57 will be quite happy with the moonlight Sonata but will be laughable with Daft Punk.
Both speakers are poor - the only reason the 57 is held in high esteem is because MOST audiophiles listen to the sort of music that the 57 plays to reasonably well. The masses even if they could buy them both for the same money - would choose the JBL because it plays their Daft Punk music a million times better.
I find them both poor because both can only play a very restricted range of music and I listen to everything so it needs to play it all well.
And when it makes the trade (they all do) I want the systems that can trick me into not noticing the weaknesses (lies by omission well).
PS - I am not insulting panels - the big ones very obviously do a better job of covering wider genres of music. Indeed, this applies to boxed speakers - big full range speakers from the makers making the puny standmounts also do a much better job covering more genres of music.
I mean virtually every speaker company you look at the top of the line more expensive models are significantly larger than their entry level models.