Home Speaker Asylum

General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

RE: Those darn measurements !

As I am well versed in science which was my initial area of study Biology/Psychology let's asses the hypothesis shall we?

Morricab and some others assessments
RGA drinks the AN Kool Aid - everything must be Audio Note - Audio Note is the best sound and nothing else is as good.

So let's test that theory as a good objective scientist.

We must note first that Audio Note makes over 700 products. So that's a lot of Kool-Aid - One would be a diabetic touting every single product.


First for the above hypotheses to hold merit we would have an individual that recommends only Audio Note on every forum.

Secondly, for the above hypotheses (RGA is a Kool Aid drinking shill) to hold RGA would thus presumably purchases only Audio Note (or at the very least would purchase an Audio Note against anything at the given price point). Thus if RGA auditions 10 amplifiers at $7,000 the amplifier RGA would always buy would be an Audio Note. Further, if RGA could only afford a $500 product and there is no Audio Note at $500 then that is the only time RGA would buy a non Audio Note product.

Thus a Kool Aid drinker buys the Kool Aid does he not and then touts it always and only.

So let's see if the above holds water.

A) I purchased the KEF LS-50 where instead I could have purchased the AZ Two or Three (because I would not have had to purchase stands).

B) I purchased a Line Magnetic CD player and their DAC - in both cases I could have purchased an Audio Note transport and DAC. The AN DAC is $400 less and the model up is about $100 more.

C) I purchased a $7,500 Line Magnetic 219IA integrated amplifier.
I could have purchased an OTO Sig, or SORO sig or Meishu (which is big and heavy too) for the same or less money.

Odd seems to me that anyone who lacks objectivity would always just automatically by an Audio Note product every single time he decided to buy an audio product.

Gee what can explain the above? And remember it's not about the money because the AN units if you keep em 10 years are likely to sell for at least what you paid (because the MARKET decides what has long lasting appeal). I manged to sell the LM 219IA for about 50% of what I paid for it. And the head repair and sales person (no longer there and thus no longer biased) noted that of all the 219IA amps sold I had the very best sounding one as it was the deluxe model using upgraded parts. Even that could not generate resale value. Great amp though.


Thirdly, RGA always recommends an Audio Note product for all posters asking for advice. For example, when a poster says he has a gymnasium sized rooms and needs 130dB - RGA will recommend an Audio Note. When someone is looking for a speaker for his boat - RGA will always recommend Audio Note. Regardless of practicality or desire - RGA will always recommend the same thing because he drank the Kool-Aid.

Interestingly, when someone asks for a speaker so he can play his loud heavy metal music at very loud levels because he wants crushing bass - and then someone who always recommends a Magnepan - recommends a Magnepan. I don't see you calling any of them out. Kool Aid?

So now let's test the theory that RGA only supports AN:

RGA owns Silver speaker cables and ICs and a modified AN ISIS power bar. Let's look at the cable forum for the last year and point to all the posts RGA has told anyone to buy an Audio Note cable. hmmm Cables are the biggest profit margin item in the audio industry so if one wanted to "help" the company one would be touting the crap out of cables not any of the other products. Let's show all the AN Cable touting posts. Crickets.... Strike one.

Moving over to the amplifier forums. Let's see all the times RGA has told someone looking for a 500 watt integrated amplifier to buy specifically an OTO or Meishu or SORO. hmm. At best my advice is about a different approach to a system like going to HE and SET (which both you and A Wayne support anyway and so I don't tout that approach any more or less than you two).

And in the vast majority of those cases I don't mention AN at all or I make a passing reference to my OTO in the context of the discussion not actually recommending the specific amp for purchase (or my then LM 219). Strike 2.

And let's be clear - AN amplifiers and Cables are designed and built by AN. This is their main product line along with the following.

AN DACs and CD players. Getting warmer. IME this has offered the best digital possibly due to the R2R and non oversampling and not using digital or analog filters. I recommend this a lot more BUT I still only recommend it when the person is in the price range AND looking for Redbook re-play. I don't tell people looking for DSD to buy an AN. But there isn't a whole lot of posts from me about it and I have never owned an AN CD player, Transport, or DAC! So If I am a huge Kool-Aid drinker I would own one RIGHT?


Turntables: Well the turntables are turbo-charged Systemdeks which were already highly regarded back in the day. Once again I don't go into threads with an AN turntable drumbeat. I don't rave on about it being better than Clearadio or VPI. Usually I enter a thread about the specific table or a systemdek upgrade. Strike three.

AN Speakers: Turbo-charged Snell. This is the one line of products that I recommend the most and 90%+ of the design was done by Peter Snell.

I recently purchased a $24,000 US version of the Audio Note E. Show me the post where I started a thread about this speaker that I have had since December? A kool aid drinking AN peddler would surely be out telling everyone to sell their systems immediately for the superior AN E would they not? Strike four


When does RGA recommend an AN speaker? When price performance, efficiency/ set-up restrictions, are a factor.

Even back when RGA was first recommending the speaker before many of the other mags got on board (like Line Magnetic - I was the first to review LM in North America - and I owned the gear BEFORE any review from anyone came out).

The fact is there were very very few affordable good efficient speakers available. You had basically two choices - a single driver (but Omega and Teresonic or even Zu were not around), and horns. Single drivers were largely found in DIY community. But from any sort of mainstream company the HE speaker was barren. The mainstream HE speakers in the late 80s and 90s people auditioned and did not like and they largely disappeared from the market. Klipsh pretty much stood alone and were selling in Canadian drug stores.

Pretty good budget horns like my Wharfedale Vanguard - well the company went bankrupt and sold to the Chinese - those horns disappeared. Klipsch top models were all gone from the market selling Home theater like horns. They survived but no one was salivating over 1990/2000 Klipsch speakers.

There was Reference 3a a brand that I was heavily touting in 1999-2003 and people called me a Reference 3a shill and kool aid drinker too.

And the same argument I used then against the sea of B&W and Paradigm low efficiency drivers was:

"But listen - you can run the De Capo with 10 watts or 1000 watts - you get lots of amplifier choices! Plus there is more bass here too for the money and a nice more involving sound - all day listenable. Pretty much the exact same comments I use now about the AN K or AN J and E I used about the DeCapo. If the person had the budget I would also talk up the Royal Master.

Most people on forums looking at speakers are typically in the $1,500 - $5,000 budget range.

The AN K and De Capo were my go to speakers because they were not exorbitantly priced - both use 8 inch drivers and both were efficient enough to get to 40-50hz and be happy with around 7 watts of power. Neither had that horn shout of horn speakers for the same money and both had more bass and bass impact than competing speakers like the B&W N805 (which to me sounded altogether worse but looked cool).

People would rag on me(without hearing either speaker), I would then ask well - recommend a better sounding speaker that covers the frequency response for the same money and were also happy with 7 watts. Crickets .... Strike five.

With the DeCapos price creeping up and the Audio Note J's price coming down to a point where it was about the same price - the battle was no longer AN K versus De Capo but AN K versus Dulcet and De Capo versus AN J

As a result the Reference 3a slipped away from my recommendations because the brand was even harder to find than the already hard to find Audio Note.

So I lost one of the two main speaker recommendations. The AN J is easier to drive, has significantly deeper bass response and smoother treble band. The dealer carrying both speakers let their entire customer base walk in and hear them both in the same rooms with the same gear over many years.

They no longer sell Reference 3a and have a huge wait list for the ANs. That's not my bias - you are welcome to phone Soundhounds and confirm - if you are a "scientist" then you know you have to evaluate facts with evidence even if it is evidence you personally don't "like". Strike six

Thus the only product from Audio Note that I recommend a LOT are the speakers. But that is not being a kool aid drinker it is because it's a highly versatile loudspeaker that comes at a great number of price points.


Price performance. I sold my Audio Note J/Spe speakers for more than I paid (and so would all other AN speaker buyers back them). So the AN J's net cost is Zero (I sold it for 17% more than I paid). And my speakers were the unifomly unpopular "black ash" and not in perfect condition (7/10)

So let's look at the market shall we.

I recommend the Audio Note J for under $3,0000. The buyer keeps it for 10 years he will likely sell it for $3,000. Thus a FREE loudspeaker aside from inflation but that applies to the rest of the industry.


The speaker is happy with 7 watts in a medium room. Bass will be solid under 30hz (Hi-Fi Choice got 22hz-3db) so it's pretty full range. As a scientist you can verify this measurement by purchasing the 2001 June issue of Hi-Fi Choice magazine and see the measurements for yourself).
Also note that it won the level matched blind auditions. So it's not like I am the only one touting the speakers.

So a guy asked for a sub 3k speaker and I recommend the J and the same people go ape chest pounding crazy. They ask for a near wall speaker - I make the same recommendation - they go ape crazy.

The I say okay what is the alternative that can go near a wall - that has sub 30hz bass, that can be driven with a SET and that is not a horn. Ape crazy.

Perhaps it is that people are drinking the "Anti-AN Kool Aid" - they immediately go off their nut as soon as someone touts a hugely popular loudspeaker just because they got into a bunch of forum arguments with Peter Qvortrup - now they see Kool-Aid Red anythime anyone likes a product from a man they hate. Bias? Strike seven.


Awayne says he only likes reviews with lots of pictures. Boy will he be disappointed with the above




Edits: 06/26/17 06/26/17 06/26/17

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