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they sound very much better against all expectation for an omni type speaker.
the electronics play a part too.
i have a friend who switched from an all mbl top-of-the-line system to a motley crew of something from different brands just because he wasn't getting served anymore (nothing else higher up to upgrade to...!) driving the giant YG speakers. But I thought it went downhill from then.
P.S. ask the MBL dealers to play you music at bedtime levels, and see if they still float your boat.
You are right the mbl warrants an extended listen or two, to flesh out strengths and weaknesses. As I mentioned, last Sunday on one track in particular the mbl sounded as good, probably better than any speaker I have heard in a 5 minute stretch. But that really does not mean that much because other times in other venues and even in the *same* venue the mbl has fallen far short of that fidelity level. (This is not just true of the mbl). While it shows what the mbl is capable of it might not fulfill that potential across the music spectrum. We have all seen that in demos where the demonstrator knows exactly what source disc and at what loudness level (critical) to bring a speaker/system to its pinnacle. And, in fact, even in our own systems we come across, sometimes strictly by accident, a music piece that bring out an amazing strength (or weakness?) that we never knew the system was capable of even if we have lived with that system for several years.
****ask the MBL dealers to play you music at bedtime levels, and see if they still float your boat***
If you play classical music that has both very loud as well as extended and remarkable quiet (as low as the system/room allows) passages would that not serve the same "test"?
I do understand that some audiophiles view the ability of a speaker to play well softly or at low levels to be a hallmark attribute. I'm not one of those as I rarely play my music that low except when low level volumes are part of the composition which is practically most every classical music piece I listen to. If the speaker did not resolve well or otherwise did not sound excellent at low levels I would know during the normal course of listening.
P.S. I'm just reminded of a time I was auditioning several line stages in my system, each for a few days. I had narrowed it down to between two. But then in the normal course of listening I played a pipe organ disc. The disc was not intended to be a "test", but it caused one of the line stages to completely flunk out. It simply would not fully pass through the lower octave. Otherwise, it performed exemplary.
Robert C. Lang
"I do understand that some audiophiles view the ability of a speaker to play well softly or at low levels to be a hallmark attribute"
It is a great attribute that most systems are not capable of.
I certainly can listen for hours at low level and enjoy the music,
but as you said some music need to be turned up to enjoy fully.
But at the end of the day I tend to run away from loud music, even live,
for me most audio demos are too loud
***It (playing well at low levels) is a great attribute that most systems are not capable of.****
I'm sure this makes sense. But to be to be sure that I am following along I'll ask you the same question that I asked Jerome.
*****If you play classical music that has both very loud as well as extended and remarkable quiet (as low as the system/room allows) passages would that not serve as the same "test"?****
That is, by definition if a system plays classical music well it must play softly well. Right? In fact, playing softly extremely well is a fundamental attribute. This is why it would never occur to me to "test" a speaker on its ability to play at low levels....it's implicit. At least that's how I look at it.
Robert C. Lang
Well I imagine that it would be impossible to test speakers at low level at a show where the background noise is too high. At the shop where I work part time we have 1 listening room that is extremely quiet and there is is possible. I tend to adjust the volume level depending on the background noise, late at night when the background sound level is low (well below 40 db)and not to disturb my wife that maybe sleeping I play music at very low levels and I am fully able to enjoy the system.
But I think that Jerome question is valid, some systems don't do well at low level, and I personally could not have such system as it would not meet my needs. As you said many times it is best to test a speaker in your own room.
Agreed. A system's (including speakers) ability to play softly, loudly, and at all levels in between are all equally indispensable.
Robert C. Lang
late at night, when their wives are asleep. Does anyone here actually Sleep with their Wives?! ( You know, sleep, not (wink, wink, nudge, nudge , Sleep! ) I know, shocking, radical...
Personally, I like listening in the morning.
this is a typical observation from MBL speakers users:
"...I have noticed that when playing a cd, say Patty Austin, when the preamp is set to like 10 level, quiet listening level, it sounds fine, but not dynamic or special. When the volume is at a threshold level, like 20--still not super loud---the magic is there. More dynamic and clearer sounding. A very knowledgable friend believes the drivers need a certain level volume so the drivers are appropriately "driven" . Not trying to sound like a reviewer, but it makes sense. That's what I notice...."
we may need an extended quiet passage in a recording to start spoting the alleged deficiencies. but, the danger is, when one is critically listening, there is every tendancy the senses are heightened, leading to unintended spotlighting of any pre-conceived bias and prejudices.
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