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I mean, I respect Stereophile's efforts -they do a LOT more than others.
But with the Devore Orangutan O/96 and now Volti Rival, I guess we're right back where we started. A speaker swooned by a reviewer -but to have (noted) problems under test.
From my understanding, Paul Klipsch was reluctant to send his (horn) speakers in for review. Esp. in the 60s, when magazines were measurement-heavy in their reports. His designs were competitive in sound but they didn't measure too good.
What's going on here ? I thought speakers were the (one) category that had strong correlation with perceived sound quality. Does this only apply to cone speakers ?
Maybe its not using a (true) anechoic chamber or measuring from 1.5m away (2m might be better -give the speaker more time to 'gell').
Then speed -something a horn is known for. But no way to measure that -imagine putting an odometer inside a speaker !
After testing the Volti, John Atkinson confirmed Paul Klipsch -go out and here it.
There is a lot more to the perceived sound of a speaker than just frequency response, whether in-room or anechoic.
The ability of the speaker to instantaneously reproduce both the subltest of sounds and scale the full dynamic peak envelope of a sound burst seems to be better served by high sensitivity speakers in general than from the usual 86db/watt cones/domes with a complex crossover.
I have heard similar "life" to the sound from single driver speakers and even though they usually measure horribly from a FR standpoint, they deliver something that is probably just, or more important.
Why? Our perception of music is as much driven from dynamic responses as it is tonal balance...perhaps more so and horns and single driver speakers deliver this and involve the listener.
I had some nice, flat measuring Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MkII speakers many years ago. Why do I mention this speaker? Well, because it was one of the most dynamically challenged speakers I have ever owned. It was dead sounding at low volumes and quickly got compressed sounding at higher levels. No amp seemed to help much (although a little Jolida PP tube job did the best except for the bass), even a big SimAudio Celeste W4250 beast didn't help. More watts didn't save it. So, that speaker was ONLY good for mid 80s db listening withe compressed Rock/Pop that didn't allow it to drop too low in level or scale too loud. This meant classical really didn't work with this speaker and a lot of Jazz too was a fail.
Now, you see more and more speakers coming out several db higher than this (90-93db for a conventional box) and they tend to sound more lively...a step in the right direction. However, once you get to high 90s then things really liven up.
Now don't get me wrong, a lot of single driver systems I have heard are really too flawed in other ways and are sort of "one trick ponies". A good horn design though blows people away with dynamic realism...that they probably never heard from reproduction before, and relative lack of coloration that may have turned them away before.
Now, this Volti might be on the borderline for tolerability of its flaws vs. its obvious high sensitivty strengths...never heard it so I am talking more generalities.
My own horns (Odeon La Boheme) are the first make of horns that convinced me that there was an alternative to big electrostats (I mean big ones) for transparency and resolution while giving huge dynamics in a much more compact form than my former Acoustats. Coloration is very low and not of the usual "shout" that one is afraid of when staring down the barrel of a horn.
I finally got a pair of single driver speakers as well...the Decware HDTs and those are able to do the single driver justice in a way I had not heard before. Lively as hell and yet smooth. Not the last word in treble resolution but no product is perfect.
If lack of dynamic compression and wide variations in useful SPL is major figure of merit, then pro-audio equipment which is designed with that in mind should be preferred, right?
And yet with only a few exceptions the "enthusiast horns" don't have too much resemblance to pro-audio, and there is no such thing as a high-performance single-driver pro-audio---desire for wide frequency range and SPL dynamics contradicts that technology--only something crappy to simulate a bluetooth speaker.
In fact a lot of pro speakers do make good hifi speakers. However, it must be remembered that their goal is often high SPL without distortion to fill theaters and stadiums and this means they are ruggedized and not optimized for low level resolution.
That said, theater speakers from the past like Western Electric and Altec Lansings VOTT make phenomenal stereo speakers.
The Japanese rightly love TAD, JBL and Altec studio and theater speakers. Are they colored? Often but not always but they have a visceral dynamic that works great.
As to single driver speakers, as I have said I have heard only a few that cut it: One is coupled to a large backloaded horn. The other is the Decware HDT. Needs to be close to walls to get a bit of room gain for the bass but works great. Not for a large theater or ballroom though...something in the 200-300 square foot range is probably ideal.
What seemed to be excellent on both parameters (high dynamic range and low coloration) to my ears (in a short demo at an audio show): JBL M2.
It is by no means "vintage", rather quite the opposite, a product of the most modern state of the art acoustic modeling and electronic processing.
But most horns today are not colored. I've been to countless audio shows and have auditioned many horns -it simply isn't there.
The man states no toobs , no music ..... :)
Problem with pro stuff is low level resolution as they never get small , alot of horns do this so they get loud but never soft, lacking dynamics on classical music . The really good horns can get soft and not drop out , but i have only experienced this on SET amps , SET's can micro detail and change direction on a dime ..
I have encountered a few SS amps that were close and with better overall drive , 2 were custom made bespoke amps the other were Spectral mono's . Not saying there( in regards to jump) aren't others , but i have not experienced them , the spectral could get a bit Brassy thou , the Custom Bespoke amps did not exhibit such , i would like to believe the Spectrals were prolly kneeing when they were exhibiting a bit of harshness.
Recently i heard a pr of VAC mono's 200/200 and these were fantastic , some of the best jump and drive from a non SET tooby ...
It depends on the pro speaker. It can be a full-cone or a strong-horn like the Meyer X-10. The Pioneer/TAD 2251, reviewed in the Absolute Sound in 2002, crossed-over at 950hz. A horn covered the highs and most of the midrange (if we assume this goes to 3kHz).
There are very few "horn" speakers most are Quasi, mostly midrange/ high compression drivers , there is a difference ...
If you can explain the difference. A compression driver must be a horn. Waveguides are horn-loaded.
The problem is we've never had a technical cut-off between W/G and horn. (Like crossover-point or sensitivity of system -never mind physical depth of waveguide).
It's pretty simple and fairly widespread. Measurements are touted when they agree with a viewpoint/evaluation, and dismissed if they don't. :)
John does a nice job being consistent with his measurements, but he always leaves himself an 'out' with his language regarding correlation to subjective evaluation.
We are use to imagining performances from playback equipment when the signal reaching our ears bares no resemblance to a live signal that would match the "image" of what we are hearing. An average listener - perhaps a musician - would likely prefer speakers that match a smother frequency response for the direct sound that includes a somewhat smooth power response as well (re: F. Toole and gobs of research). Audiophiles (those here reading this) and audiophile reviewers are not constrained by this. We pick out details and distinctions that draw us into the music and the image we crave. We even pick up on anomalies and differences that are not caused by reality, but also by preferences, and bias. Even the lack of confidence we have in the reproductive abilities of a system effect our ability to return to the "magic" of being there.
Stereophile Reviewers are not biased by measurement ahead of their review, and Klipsh or Bose did not want there potential customers to be as well.
Also, (defending the Listener against the measurement),many horn and panel speakers are difficult to measure in a way that reflect what we hear from those designs. A Simulated free field assessment with the 2 meter away mic on line with a tweeter just isn't representative of the pressure variations that reach the ear in a real listening room.
"The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat" - Confucius
many horn and panel speakers are difficult to measure in a way that reflect what we hear from those designs.
"As I have written before in these pages, measuring physically large speakers with in-room quasi-anechoic techniques is in some ways a fruitless task. The usual assumption, that the measuring microphone is very much farther away than the largest dimension of the speaker being measured, is clearly wrong. "
John Atkinson from the Magnepan 3.6 review.
It seems like every time there is a controversial Stereophile loudspeaker review, whether it was a negative review or a positive review with bad measurements, the review is lacking an in-room response measurement. OK, maybe not every time, but it always seems to be lacking when they're reviewing a controversial speaker that is either designed for near wall placement, or employs directivity control.
I don't need an in-room measurement for conventional box speakers designed for placement away from walls with dome tweeters and cone midranges & woofers, because I know from experience how their pseudo-anechoic measurements translate. But in cases like Sjöfn The Clue and the Volti Rival, I think the in-room measurement tells you more than the pseudo-anechoic measurement.
With the Volti Rival, if all you look at is the nearfield, on-axis, pseudo-anechoic response, you might be unimpressed. But if you assume this speaker is intended to be placed in a relatively live, untreated room where power response matters most, a lot of the problems go away. Those ragged looking peaks and valleys in the lower treble are reversed off-axis. Similarly, the rising treble response on-axis is countered by narrowing dispersion off-axis. So I would expect that the power response of the midrange + tweeter is a lot flatter than you might think.
The real mystery here is the level mismatch between the woofer and the other drive units, which seems to be about 5 dB. That should be an easily audible flaw, so it's a bit strange for Ken to say that the speaker has no house sound, compared to his DeVore's. An in-room measurement showing the response of the Volti vs. the DeVore in Ken's room would shed a lot of light on that.
the volti measurements is so bad, I cannot believe my eye.
poor consumers having to live with such coloured system
The Volti has the typical FM curve loved by many , it wont sound "bad" to most , it will sound powerful and detailed as not many "philes" and "reviewers" are sensitive to timbre and cabinet colorations , especially if not playing acoustic instruments , Symphony or classical piano. The Volti IMO, would be dynamic on classic rock for eg and if paired to the right SET will have jump , bass drive without bloat and plenty detail ..
The Volti's will be room and amplifier sensitive thou, due to the massive tilt but its no where as bad as the Odeons mentioned above , those should sound bad regardless..
JA closing comments on the Odeons where hillarious , Translated , Your wife is fat and ugly but man can she cook...
agreed, in-room will tell far more than the pseudo-anechoic response. However, it means that more than most YMMV due to everyone having different rooms with differents size, shape, construction and damping.
So, it's not the need of a (real) echo-free room, it's the opposite.
Each speaker is different -testers should know this by now !
Near-field pseudo-anechoic measurements have the advantage of being largely repeatable by different people in different settings, and for conventional designs at least, I can usually tell just by looking at the measurements whether I'm going to have a generally favorable or unfavorable listening impression. However, they don't tell me what the reviewer heard.
When I see an in-room measurement of the speaker under review, compared to the reviewer's reference(s), that helps me put the reviewer's listening impressions into context. It's also important to understand what kind of response you'll get in the far field from dipoles, bipoles, horns, panels, arrays, etc. And when speakers are designed for special room placement, it's the only way to know whether they are working as intended.
Dipole speakers, for example, are designed with room acoustics in mind.
Even then, you'll get varying opinions as how to best leverage a dipole. Arnie Nudell favors tall line sources while Siggy Linkwitz prefers a compact point source approach.
But I have heard the Volti VITTORA at a number of shows, along with the sub woofer designed to go with the system, at least a half dozen time or more in good and bad hotel rooms on every type of music imaginable and can say without hesitation that it's the best sounding 'Klipsch-a-like' horn speaker system I have yet to hear, bar none.
And no, I could care less how it measures.
There was a hot-buzz at the NY audio show, last year, over the the Volti Rival.
At this point in time, if anyone doesn't like a horn, they have not heard them. Coloration (or 'shouting') is long-time gone.
What gets me is people who express a disdain for horns prefer cones and panel speakers. Are those honestly closer to live music ?
even if they hear them.
Horns are hard to x-over, they can also be hard to integrate with a sub, and yes, folks who are into 'imaging' can have their complaints.
Hope to hear the Volti 'Rival' at one of the upcoming shows.
Most recent OWNED? My ex had Klipsch KG 5.5s. I used some rope caulk around the backside of the horns proper, and I put a Conrad Johnson PV5 upfront - still couldn't get it to where I wanted, and she was SHOCKED how much better things were for her "death metal" when I put together a system using B&W Nautilus 805s and a Von Schweikert "Tower of Power" subwoofer. SMALL loss in immediate dynamics, HUGE increase in smooth, detailed sound.
Other than that? My most "expensive" experience with horns was with the Classic Audio Reproductions CAR-T1 - still "honked" and "squeaked" to my ears, and that was with some crazy expensive SET amplification.
WISH I could find horns that do what they do right, and NOT do what I find what I hear wrong with them.
No, have ZIPPO experience with various Altecs, or many other things. HAVE heard pretty much EVERY Klipsch model throughout the years, and I COULD likely live with some of the heavily modified Forte, Chorus, or Cornwall systems. No damn way could I live with a Belle or LaScala. SURE wish I could hear an absolutely perfectly set up K-horn.
I'm getting too old.
Finally got a pair of B&W 802 Matrix S3 I'm quite happy with. Might much with them a bit. Certainly will change the amp chain at some point. Otherwise? They'll do. :)
ahh..the last 2 complaints. Klipsch and JBL have successfully crossed-over their 3-way horns for decades. If someone is struggling as a DIY'er, go to an after-market guy like Crite or ALK.
Then, we have a 2-way choice -like JBL's (more than one model).
Bass is easy. You need the right folded-horn ! And then rolled off at 60hz.
and know a few folks long-involved in their development and construction for both fun a profit.
Some prefer straight horns. :-)
Those above I haven't heard, so I can't speak to how well integrated they sound, but know some of the folks involved in the installation of these in Cypress. Two 100 Kilo Ale compression drivers per side, per what I am told.
But you're the expert on horns here, so have at it!
With such a long line , I guess acoustic phase and timing stands still .. :)
What's 360 deg. between friends? :-)
I began in this hobby as a professional equipment fan salivating over Bryston (which yes I had in my home) and Panels (Quads, Martin Logan, Apogee and speakers like the big PMC, Genelec, B&W (all used in recording studios widely). The panels never ultimately did it for me because I play a wide range of music that includes hard rock, pop, trance and other hard hitting music. In my demo of Apogee in the mid 90s the dealer blew the speakers using 1000 watt Krells and said that was the third pair blown - a few months later they no longer carried the line. Magnepans had poor treble and a sound that always sounds exactly the same regardless of recording - a wahsed out thin character - though it could play loud it wasn't dynamic. And the Quad which sounded the nicest of all in the midrange had no bass or ability to rock - and given the $10k price range - it should play everything.
SO B&W was my then favorite and measured pretty well. Although for $2k you only got a small standmount with a 6 inch woofer. It was difficult to justify that against my Wharfedale Vanguard speakers (Horn 3 way with a 10 inch woofer based on but an improvement on the now classic E-70. The Vanguard is 95dB sensitive and sits at around 10 ohms with a Japanese Ring Horn tweeter and has huge impact on all sorts of rock, dance and pop music
and was more than decent with classical and quite excellent with jazz.
Listening to the good measuring speakers they came out sounding rather flat and lifeless - Play say AC/DC thunderstruck on ALL of the well reviewed small standmounts in the 1990s (and today for that matter) turn the volume up to where you would normally want to listen to "Shook Me All Night Long" and the best you could hope for with speakers like the Paradigm Studio 20/40 or B&W 705/805 or the KEF LS-50 that I own and measures great is to be "Cuddled All Night Long."
From a measurements perspective there is little to fault the likes of Bryston, Mark Levinson, Krell. I targeted Bryston as my amplifier largely because they were the least expensive and had a 20 year warranty (measure no worse) and I am Canadian so I was looking to support Canadian brands).
That all changed 5 or so years later when I was ready to buy Bryston and B&W at a dealer called Soundhounds in Victoria BC. They also carried Reference 3a's MM De Capo and Classe and all Linn stereos and Sim Audio (another Canadian company) and Paradigm (Canadian). Awesome - as it is a 1.5 hour drive from my home I called ahead to set up the speakers. And I said - "and add a speaker you guys like"
Interestingly the worst measuring speakers out of the four had more dynamics and better bass and treble response. The De Capo and the Audio Note K/Spe which was the speaker they added. Paradigm was the worst of the four and probably measures the best.
B&W was too constipated and disjointed - you could hear the tweeter operating on its own. (and this is a dedicated room - they bring in one speaker and position the B&W and when you finish they take the speaker out of the room completely (only one speaker in the room at a time - the room is professionally treated - they do pro home theater installs for the rich people who build homes around their stereo. So you are hearing the Paradigm and B&W arguably better than you will hear it at home or most any audio show. And the building is also made out of brick so none of those crappy sing along plaster board walls you get at shows and most dealers.
It took about 1 track of piano to know which speaker I would buy and to my dismay it was from the ugliest speaker with zero name brand appeal (like I had never heard of them). They managed to sound as close to a single driver as it could get without being one but with more bass - tight and controlled pin drop start stop motion through the midbass.
Then I auditioned a set-up with a massive silver box driving an equally uglier set of AN E speakers directly against the 801 which the store also carried - and I asked about the big amp must be 1000 watts. The dealer looks over no 8. I took to mean 800. No just 8. Then why does this speaker with an 8 inch woofer Shake Me All Night Long. SETS suck - 10% THD right (heck 80%THD). Shouldn't the singer's voice warble? SHouldn't the bass sound woompy and flabby? Shouldn't it compress more and sound hollowed out. Why is the flagship Classe and flagship B&W the one where the music lacks any sense of life or interest. And why isn't it putting out the bass depth one would expect from a bigger speaker using 15 inch drivers and 500+ watts?
As an avid stereo magazine reader I was bothered by the fact that the stuff that actually sounded best in the rooms was not the stuff that I was ready to buy and was salivating over. A big disconnect between the measurements and the sound. So I also waited and waited and tried and tried before I bought. Because I wanted to make sure I wasn't being duped by pleasing colourations that would wear off over time. I played classical music more and more to be sure. I listen to powerful violin in the treble range and noted the AN E/J/K and De Capo versus the metals of the B&Ws and Paradigm and noticed that the soft domes went just as high but actually had less noise surrounding the note. A black backdrop without the ringing/noise.
The interesting thing was comparing the SET and SEP tube amps to Bryston Separates. At a normal level the AN amp didn't make me want to go for the volume control. You could hear everything clean crisp no noise or distortion. The Bryston units oddly didn't sound clear or dynamic. It had a thin body-less quality and I immediately wanted to turn the volume UP to make things out properly - same room same speakers same seat. So all the stuff I read and worshipped for maybe 12 years was being dismantled from an 8 watt SET and two ways with an 8 inch woofer.
Mind you SS is cheap so I have a high power SS amp with high damping Factor. And I have the KEF LS-50 - the measuring greatness that JA himself chose as not only speaker of the year but Product of the Year. So I have the great measuring system to always check back on.
My experience is that most of the people I know personally who have gone to SET and High Efficiency have had measurement proof Solid State amplifiers and "measurement proof" loudspeakers. Fortunately, most of the people in this hobby have some money behind them. SO owning both a SET system AND a Solid State system isn't really difficult these days.
You can have it all.
Second hand solid state "measuring excellence" on the second hand market is easy. SS depreciates well. Meanwhile I can sell my OTO SEP amp of 10 watts for more than I paid back in 2003.
Just get a nice like ANKits kit 300b or 2a3 and a good HE speaker and then go buy a Stereophile class A rated SS and LE speakers like the KEF LS-50. See what happens.
I know you've written about these matters before, but it is always useful to remember that measurements in this field, simply tell you how well something measures - they do not reliably correlate with sound nor the overall affect.
Sorry you got trolled in this thread.
"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."
What SS and how is an LS50 measurement proof ..!
"The KEF LS50 may be relatively affordable, but it offers superb measured performance.â€”John Atkinson"
Measurement stamp of approval awarded.
Of course I am always happy to have a list of the 5 most accurate loudspeakers on the planet. I did request a few years ago from the measurements are king people and no one replied - they could not list a few models that are considered the most accurate (with full measurements to back it up).
The KEF according to the editors of Stereophile and Soundstage (the two biggest providers of measurements) both love the KEF LS-50s measured results. So it is a good measurements place to start.
Edit: SS that I have had come through my homes include amplifiers from Bryston 3B/4B (100+ watts)Celeste 4070, Arcam Delta 290 and 290P, Rotel RB1050/1080, Pioneer Elite VSX95(100+ watts), Shengya PM 150(300 watts 4 ohms hybrid) monoblocks, Sugden A48b, 2 Marantz receivers one 50 watts the other (100+watts) - the 50 watter sounds better), Musical Fidelity A300 (100+ watts), Roksan Kandy K2 (100+ watts). Which doesn't count the many hours spent with many other big SS power amps from Krell, Classe, Sim Audo, Pass Labs(Threshold before that), Hafler, Odyssey, Mark Levinson and newer stuff like Constellation, Edge, Soullution, MBL, Studio Electric, Orpheus Labs.
I now own only own a Marantz receivers for movies and I have a Rotel RB 1050 70 watts 8 ohms 140 4 ohms but even that I just own. I haven't used the amp since 2012. Given it is practically worthless second hand I figure one day I might use it for something.
I have no idea about 5 best, but some good ones:
KEF Reference 1, obviously requiring an additional subwoofer for full range.
Revel Ultima Salon 2, perhaps professional monitors from Quested,
It's interesting because you can find these and several other speakers on their site that are deemed to be good measuring and then you listen to these and they don't sound much alike in the least bit.
Using the word accuracy in mathematics we say 2+2=4 and that is an accurate answer. And perhaps we can say 3 is more accurate than 12,879. In math we have a reference in other words an absolute that 4 is the correct answer the accurate answer. But with Audio all we can do is make a guess based on some statistical polling of opinions in a test environment.
And then list some speakers that sound rather wildly different from each other and proclaim them to be accurate. The last time I asked for this I think I got a list that included big horns, omni-directionals, panels, transmission lines, single drivers, two-ways, line arrays, and actives. And a lot of these people are degree holding engineers, recording engineers and you get different answers.
It's actually really weirdly fascinating to me and it's probably why there is so much heated debate over which is right.
I can't speak for the JBL M2s because I've never had the chance to hear them. But the others don't sound wildly different from each other. Aside from their bass, where I hear some significant differences due to alignment and tuning and how they load the room, I think the Revel Ultima2 line, Kef Reference line, and Magico S series all sound surprisingly similar from the lower midrange up. I'll add the Dynaudio Confidence and Evidence to that too.
Wildly is probably not the best word but I would use significantly instead.
Speakers of a similar design stripe will share common traits - but then so do SS amplifiers. Let's face it the reason no one can tell the difference between most SS amps is because most SS amp makers buy the same parts from the same parts suppliers. So you ring up Torroids 'R' Us and you select the 200 watter and then buy 10 cent caps you might choose brand A while manufacturer chooses brand B but it's largely the same. So it's not a big wonder why in blind level matched conditions people can't tell the difference.
And that would apply to speaker makers who open up their computer software program (that they purchased along with other competitors) and then they all buy a polypropylene/Kevlar 6 inch woofer and a similar tweeter in a similar shaped cabinet all following the same approach.
The other major problem is that few people are listening to these things in the same room. So we listen to the KEF in January with Constellation and we get an impression and then in May we listen to the Magico on another system.
But I have auditioned Magico back to back with Usher the Kef Blade2, Focal Utopia and TAD. They are all premium priced loudspeakers and likely all measure pretty good. They all sounded good to me but I can't say any of them sounded alike. I think I could live with all of these with work on finding the right partnering gear.
And that would apply to speaker makers who open up their computer software program (that they purchased along with other competitors) and then they all buy a polypropylene/Kevlar 6 inch woofer and a similar tweeter in a similar shaped cabinet all following the same approach.
I don't think any of the brands we're talking about do that. Revel, KEF, Magico, Dynaudio all design and make their own drivers in house. And all with different materials and design approaches.
The other major problem is that few people are listening to these things in the same room. So we listen to the KEF in January with Constellation and we get an impression and then in May we listen to the Magico on another system.
Definitely true. However, I would say that most loudspeakers have a personality or house sound that shows up to some degree regardless of where they're playing. For example, every Focal speaker I've heard sounds like it has a "smile" response, kind of a mild inverse Fletcher-Munson curve, with bass and treble just a bit elevated. Focus Audio's speakers have a slightly richer than neutral tone and a little peak around 1 KHz that enhances the in-room presence of the center image. Harbeth's always sound a bit soft and dull to me. And so on.
One thing I like a lot about the Magico S series is that they don't have much of a personality. Even if they're not somebody's cuppa, they are still great tools to use when auditioning other equipment. That's how I got turned on to them.
Yes I agree - certainly house sound and the product having their own voice (typically) such that regardless of room you are still hearing the speaker's character. Analogous to having someone playing a violin in your living room, and your bedroom and your bathroom - you still aren't mistaking it for a cello.
Magico I have heard only 4 times - The best I heard them sound was with Technical Brain amplifiers and that was impressive. Unfortunately, Technical Brain while they sounded utterly sensational apparently have (or had) an issue with reliability.
I think perhaps my problem is I send out some mixed messages - I have certain generalities but then several examples that are exception. Similar to English grammar.
I looked up my dagogo past commentaries but when the website changed we lost several articles.
As you probably know what my general preference is for HE/SET. But I am not tied to that absolutely.
I had a list of ten favorite systems at CES (all of which I would be happy to live with) back then and Magico/Technical brain was one of the ten in the over $10k priced systems. I also had a sub $10k list. Everything was based on the price of the speakers.
Here was my list to give you an idea of the varying types of stuff I like - to be blunt I should probably be called a speaker slut.
Alphabetical order (under $10K)
* Audio Note AN-E/Spe HE Loudspeakers
* Gallo 3.5
* Harbeth Super HL5
* Kingsound Prince II Electrostatic loudspeakers
* Reference 3a Grand Veena
* Sonist Concerto 3
* Sonist Recital 3
* Studio Electric Type Three Loudspeakers
* Wharfedale Diamond 10
* Uniwave Tek CHATEAU REFERENCE MONITORS
Rooms with speakers above $10,000 (alphabetical order):
* Acapella High Violoncello II
* Acoustic Zen Crescendo
* Audio Note AN-E Sec Signature (They had two rooms at the show)
* Magico/Technical Brain
* Perfect 8 Technologies (The Force)
* Silbatone Aporia Full Range
* Sony SS AR1 loudspeakers
* Teresonic Ingenium loudspeakers
* Trenner and Friedl RA Box
* Usher Be 10
And at the next show CAS 2012. The best five rooms I picked in alphabetical order.
* Acoustic Zen Crescendo
* Focal Scala Utopia
* MBL 101 (and the 120) E MK II Radialstrahler
* Von Gaylord "The Return of the Legend" speakers
* YG Acoustics Anat III Studio Signature
So speakers: Horns, Omni-directionals, Narrow baffle (Floyde E Toole school), speakers with metal tweeters, ribbons, electrostats, hybrids, low efficiency, high efficiency, single drivers, lots of drivers, fat and skinny
I must get out to hear the M2 , i have to admit the only times i have heard Horns and said special were when they were being driven by an SET amplifier ..
On SS and regular toobs ..... Meh
There is something to them and how they couple the low wattage of an SET to the room , it's truly different and on acoustic instruments they convey the sound and presence of a real instruments in a manner unmatched by any other transducer i have ever heard..
Granted not all horns do this and overall i do prefer large scale dynamic speakers, ribbon Hybrids and well Done ESL's...
I tend to connect to the music better through them than horns ...
I would like to hear the M2 also. I've heard plenty of JBL PA speakers which are not my cuppa, but supposedly the M2 is an ace studio monitor. I haven't heard the Everest or K2 either, they seem to be marketed in Asia for the most part.
Aside from PA speakers, I have rather limited experience with horns. Just at shows really.
Well, you will be interested to know that last Saturday I had a friend come over and bring his Devialet 120 to hook up to my Odeon horns.
The result was...ok actually. It is smooth and the highs were not as disturbing as I usually find them with Class D. Bass was also surprisingly good (ok we boosted the Devialet by 4.5db...it has some eq function built in). However, and for me this is a big, HOWEVER, the soundstage and images within that soundstage flattened out considerably, thus significantly lessening the realism effect from the music. My friend heard this as well, sighed, and said he was happy it sounded as good as it did on the horns. He has Reference 3a speakers and I have heard this Devialet on those speakers too and it sounded better on the Odeons.
That was with digital. With analog (feeding the TT directly into the Devialet as it has my cartridge on file) it was not so great and we listened rather briefly to it this way because it was a rather large step back from my rig (Silvaweld phono pre, NAT Plasma pre, Ayon Crossfire III).
Resolution between the two systems (devialet vs. toobs) was pretty similar (i.e. there were no ear opening revelations from one to the other in terms of details and small sounds) but micro and macro dynamics were better served with the toobs and the above mentioned spatial qualities (more open and yet more 3d and palpable with the toob rig). The net effect was realism factor was significantly higher whereas Devialet kind of overdamped things. Not too badly, mind you, it was a pretty decent listen and if you didn't compare/contrast you might even really like that sound. In the end we went back to my setup and I was like AH and my friend was nodding his head as well. Still, he paid relatively little for his Devialet compared to my rig so he was satisfied on that point.
Have you tried any SET's on the Odeon's ?
I like the Devialets but in mono form , they are nothing sound wise like what a good SET does and i have never heard a single Devialet playing in stereo mode my HIFi friends who have them all went to mono mode after being very disappointed in them in stereo mode and said the contrast was huge . A pity you never tried feeding your phono pre into the Devialet for a quick comparison ..
What do you think the Ayon Crossfire is? Before that Wall Audio Opus M50 monos (parallel 6C33C) before that JJ322 (parallel 300B...still have this one) and before that NAT Symbiosis SE (hybrid SET). Also, we have run the KR Audio VA350i on it as well as some push/pull triode (Vac 30/30 and Pure Sound A30). So, mainly ONLY set has been run on them...at 98db/watt there is no need for more.
Funny that you mention mono. I have a friend who has the biggest monos from Devialet and couples them with a really nice pair of Piega planar hybrid speakers. However, it doesn't really sound very good. That is why he has now built another system around the Odeon No. 32, Lamm M1.1 hybrids, Lampizator Golden Atlantic and soon to be acquired Aries Cerat Incito preamp. Even without the Incito it whips the crap out of the Devialet/Piega combo. You put the electronics from that "big rig" onto the Piegas and it might very well sing nearly as sweetly.
Of course, would going mono with Devialets REALLY make a sonic improvement on a speaker where we are normally cruising well below 1 watt of output on the amp? Hard to understand that really. How can having even more circuitry cure the problem?
For me, going with monoblocks is more about the benefits of separation of signal, and extremely short speaker cables than power, watts are cheap these days.
Good watts are not cheap at all...
Go back to 1950 and try to buy a 200watt/channel amp, then get back to me on that lol.
I wouldn't have wanted one then and I don't want one now.
Which model Pieaga ...?
Im interested in the SS amp you are currently using for your perfect LS50 @84db/w/m speaker , if not 200 watts/ ch then its clip city ...
Really - Amplifier requirements are 25 watts to 100 watts according to KEF. But I guess you know more about loudspeaker design than ALL the KEF engineers. You should build a speaker and let me hear it so I can compare it to the KEF loudspeaker. $1200 remember.
I have and did and there was no reason to sweat the Kef stuff ... BTW JA did measure those kef's try reading sometimes ..
The manual says the recommended amplifier for the LS-50 is 25 watts to 100 watts. I use a 50 watt amplifier currently for the KEF. The 219IA at 24 watts had no trouble with the speaker.
I would not recommend the KingKo 12 watt amp however as it struggles.
85dB - 1 watt
88dB - 2 watt
91dB - 4 watt
94dB - 8 watt
97dB - 16 watt
100dB - 32 watt
103db - 64 watt
106db - 128 watt (speaker maxes out thus speaker is now under its own clipping called distortion/compression)
A 100 watt amp provides 3dB more level than a 50 watt amplifier at the maximum end of the volume level spectrum ONLY. SO unless one has cranked their volume knob to 10 you ain't getting zilch f-all by throwing money on a 200 watt amp. Except more negative feedback which sounds WORSE.
The KEF is designed for a small room thus 70dB at the listening chair is likely the baseline average - very few and usually only classica recordings of the pedal organ variety have dynamic swings of 30dB most recordings are in the under 20dB variety.
So even with the LS-50 you will rarely use 5 watts - I know I measure them and have meters on my now ex LM 219IA. With Tube amps that clip inaudibly compared to SS it never clipped and it rarely got into the red zone maybe once for one second in 3 years. And the amp can go beyond continuous rating by at least 50% anyway.
I always laugh at this - Audio Note wins so many of those best of audio shows even when they are supposedly clipping to the hilt - AN sounds better when it is clipping and in disaster mode than all the SS rooms when operating properly! Bwahahahahaha
I had to laugh in 2010 when I auditioned Sander Sound with his 1000 watt amp and hi res music recordings and him explaining that you need 1000 watts of power to have dynamics - listen to his system - no dynamics - not much bass and poor treble response (the thin lifeless sterile quality). 4 rooms down the hall Peter Qvortrup with his 18 watt Jinro amplifier cranks up Nightwish, Slipknott, Noisia Split the Atom and the concrete walls felt like they were moving - probably my eyeballs rattling in my head. Dave Cope had to leave the room it was so deafening with bass the would cause a bowel movement - glad I hadn't eaten anything - pin drop speed and clarity into the treble and all the way down to 20s hertz range. The poor demonstrator left the room in pain.
Had Sanders bothered to close his door for 15 minutes and walk 4-5 rooms down the hall to hear dynamic uncompressed recording on an 18 watt amp he would know what dynamics really are all about. And it's not even like the AN E is a king of this particular hill - Trenner and Freidl RA hit considerably harder with about the same power. Maybe 10 watts more. And a very good horn speaker would do better than both of these - but they're usually not domestically feasible or affordable.
You should take your advise and try something else as a reviewer your technically clueless, not to mention , being so ideological there is no way on this earth you could provide a relevant review on anything ...
I have tried a lot of stuff over the last 25 years. The vast experience helps me find my preferences in audio gear. I am not a slave to those ideologies - I am generally a SET amplifier guy but that didn't stop me from selling a $7,500 premium SET amplifier and going to a $825 Push Pull amplifier.
I chose a King Sound Electrostatic panel as one of the best rooms at an audio show and another ESL was a runner up and recently really liked a system being driven with Solid State and used metal tweeters.
When you say someone is ideological that is just about the dumbest thing anyone can say. Everyone has ideology. A person who is Christian has Christian ideology, a person who is Muslim has Islam as their ideology and a person who is conservative or Liberal holds the ideology of those belief systems. And most people are somewhere in the middle or hold what could be considered coservative belief systems on some things and quite liberal belief systems on other things. Republican Arlen Spector for instance was pro-choice but on most other things he was a conservative. And several democrats are pro-life but hold to separation of church and state.
So what point are you making?
That I like SETs and High Efficiency speakers more than I like LE and Solid state. Well yes and so do tons of other people which is why this forum has a dedicated High Efficiency forum AND a SET forum. It's for the people who owned Solid State and LE speakers for decades and now like HE and SETs more. A preference isn't an ideology. And if tomorrow someone demonstrates a SS amplifier and a panel or other low efficiency speaker that I like better I will switch to that in a second. Why? Because I am not enamored with tubes - I don't like replacing them or screwing around with them in general. I am not nostalgic about them because I grew up with SS.
I have done my work - I went out and auditioned the new top SS amps from the likes of PASS Lab amps and the SIT amplifiers and First Watt. I have gone out and auditioned Mark Levinson, Soullution, Sugden, Rotel, McIntosh, Rega, Heed, Edge, Constellation, Boulder, Krell, Momentum, Classe, Bryston, MBL, Meridian, Sim Audio, Roksan, Orpheus, Emm Labs. I have auditioned the Magnepan 20.7/3.7/1.7, Martin Logan Summit X, Quads, King Audio, Vivid Audio, Wilson Audio, Wilson Benesch, Tannoy Prestige, ATC 100s, Trenner and Freidl, All of the Harbeth line, B&W Nautilus, 801, 802, Focal Utopia, Mezza Utopia, Micro Utobia, Usher Be 12, Scaena, Perfect 8 Technologies, Spendor, Castle, Reference 3a, RossoFiorintino, and it goes on and on.
I mean you can't really force someone to like Brussels sprouts who just don't like them. It's not ideology it's a preference.
So I don't know what you expect me to do.
No, I think he means the audio note kool-aid...
" Everyone has ideology"
This is also not really true. A loose belief in something is not the same as an ideology.
"This accords with definitions such as given by Manfred Steger and Paul James which emphasize both the issue of patterning and contingent claims to truth:
" Ideologies are patterned clusters of normatively imbued ideas and concepts, including particular representations of power relations. These conceptual maps help people navigate the complexity of their political universe and carry claims to social truth.
There is a stronger sense than belief in that there is a claim to the truth.
"For Willard A. Mullins an ideology should be contrasted with the related (but different) issues of utopia and historical myth. An ideology is composed of four basic characteristics:
1.it must have power over cognition
2.it must be capable of guiding one's evaluations;
3.it must provide guidance towards action; and
4.it must be logically coherent.
Now, in hifi terms, you may have "tried" other technologies but you now categorically believe that only one type really holds closest to musical "truth". Even more specifically, you are a Peter Q. disciple and pretty much fit the 4 categories above for an ideology.
The reason why it has power over your cognition is that you don't have the technical understanding and so faith must guide your decisions nad that means the idea of it guides not only your decision making process but also how you actually hear things.
Now, interstingly, as a scientist I have empirically come to a similar conclusion as you...at least regarding amplification. As to speakers, well I have high sensitivity ones now but I have loved and still love a good electrostatic or ribbon speaker. I have heard plenty of high senstivity speakers that do not sound that great...I consider AN speakers one of those...they are ok but nothing to jump up and down about.
This was reinforced at the latest Munich show. The sound was not bad in the AN room but definitely rolled off in the highs. Pleasant though but not terribly "real" sounding. Still, I can see how one might like it for a long term listening session...easy on the ears.
However, as a scientist, I keep my mind constantly open to be surprised and have tested recently even a new generation Devialet. It is still not the equal of a good SET on my horns...even the owner admitted as much.
I have heard it claimed that science is an ideology but its not if practiced without the influence of politics and money (then fake ideologies to achieve different, usually monetary, ends are constructed). Science is a set of intellectual tools as an approach to understand something in the physical world that we do not currently understand. It usually begins with observation leading to a hypothesis that must be testable and falsifiable. If the hypothesis survives the assault from experiment then it can be considered a theory or eventually a law.
This is what makes a scientific study of psychology so difficult and more like ideology because there is almost always an excpetion to one's hypothesis. They become more like guidelines for approximating behavioral response with the knowledge that there are numerous exceptions. Listening preference and perception is no exception to the exceptions. As a result, ideology in the absence of true knowledge is what usually pops up.
I think A. Wayne is right that you cannot listen subjectively in an objective manner because of your decade + long obssession with AN. It has shaped what you are hearing from the other gear. The filter is not conscious or really controllable. The fact that you haven't really lived with for long periods of time many of the technologies you put down says a lot. I have a deep appreciation for planar speakers and what they do well...they do better than basically every other technology. Their weaknesses are real but can be mitigated when you live with them...not just hear them at your local dealer.
The one thing that I have not been able to mitigate is the sound of SS electronics. Speakers I am more agnostic than anything else, although I have come to loathe low sensitivity cone/dome speakers for the lack of dynamics that are crucial to real life sound. Amps/preamps/DACs, I am less sanguine about. Part of that is just the feeling I get when I listen to them and why I migrated to SET. I decided to look into why I felt that way and I found that there are good psychoacoustical reasons why that would be the case for a lot, not all but a lot, of listeners. I have not found compelling evidence for speakers one way or the other, which probably explains why I can find a planar and even the occasional box speaker still a compelling listen...not so with SS gear.
I am certainly not married to a particular brand. I still love KR even though I no longer sell them but own an Ayon Crossfire now (and a few others from NAT, JJ and Wall Audio before that). That big LM amp you have (had?) is also a good one.
The only thing you know about me - is a few printed words mostly about audio preferences on an audio board.
So you who touts panels endlessly forever as best is true because you have a science degree and anyone who has a different view is wrong because they don't have a science degree and can't possibly be remotely objective on any subject relating to or about stereo equipment? Wow and I thought Trump had an ego - like him you can never admit you are ever infallible on any topic.
The AN dealer in Canada which I go to has around 7 people working there for many decades - they have sold New and/or second hand Apogee, Acoustat, Magnepan, Final Sound, Quad, Martin Logan. Ask them what they have in their own homes - ask to see their home so you will see that all their rooms would support said panels and then see what they themselves bought. None of them have a panel even though they could and for cheap too being dealers.
I have news for you - lots of people like lots of different things - if you came away from an AN audition and LOVED it (Or I loved Odeon and Apogee as my absolute favorites) then you would not have made the post you just made. Anyone who disagrees with your opinion on what warrants the best sound is wrong.
I don't see this post you made to me, sent to any of the Magnepan or other panel fanboys who ra ra ra about them for 2 decades solid to people looking for speakers to play heavy metal and trance.
Everything is A-Ok if they agree with Morricab and only Morricab.
I become a fan of things I like and that perform well.
No treble? This on the darkest sounding amplifier that Audio Note makes
"The only thing you know about me - is a few printed words mostly about audio preferences on an audio board."
You mean a few million printed words don't you? Plenty of evidence out there aobut what you really think...unless 10 years of posting is all one big lie...is it?
"So you who touts panels endlessly forever as best is true because you have a science degree"
As I said, I am quite speaker agnostic. Now I have horns...had them in the past (Klipsch La Scalla) and now again where they have improved dramatically in terms of coloration and "horn" characteristics.
The AN room was not bad actually...just rolled off sounding and perhaps a bit "syrupy"...not enough to obscure but a light carmel coating. The amp was the Meishu Silver, which is much improved over the standard Meishu (those upgraded parts and output transformers are key). I think that Meishu Silver is probably a great amp...would love to try one at home.
It is no surprise they like to compare with cello...fits the colorations of the system nicely...gives a big, woody sound. However, if you listen to the you tube video of the system in Munich you will hear the live playing along with the recording and the system sounds clearly darker and a bit bloated.
This demo in Munich was the closest to a really good demo...and yet it lacked...
Oh, I have had my go arounds with Magnepan people in the past. they are far from the best planars. However, they are decent sounding, and other than the 20.7, they are pretty cheap so why give them a hard time? For the money they are good. Same with Eminent Tech speakers (only $2490 new!)...if I had space I would take them over a similarly priced KEF anyday.
We never seem to be able to agree - My problem with the Meishu is that IT is the thing that is caramel and syrupy. It is a 300B lady amplifier as King of KingKo calls them. Good for the ladies - pretty, gentle caramel syrupy and dull.
I agree with Peter's favorite tubes which are the 211, 45 and 2a3.
You're hearing the amplifier not the speaker. My suggestion to you is this - find your absolute favorite POWERFUL SS amplifier and put it on the AN E and crank the shit out of the volume - I mean play it LOUD LOUD with the highest level of impact bass recording and treble - cymbal crashes, drums, at PELTING levels.
Play this at 105dB+ and tell me the speakers are caramel. Don't let the froo froo classical music soft and tender people choose the lady music.
Peter Qvortrup had 500 copies of this album reproduced on vinyl. Pelting levels.
The Meishu is a nice 300B - It might even be a very good 300B. 300B is just so bloody MEH.
And the other dumb thing about the Meishu Silver Sig - it is STILL just an M2 preamp sharing the one box. For the same money you can buy the vastly superior M3 AND a pair of Empress Silver Monoblocks. Combined this is less money than the Meishu Silver. Same watts but way more balls. Lose some gentility and prettiness. But no caramel. Even the Jinro has some of that softness in the treble.
In fact you could skip AN's preamps all together - if you want the open sound look at the Emia Autoformer passive that Jack Roberts hails as the BEST sounding preamp ever made by anyone at any price (and it's under $5k).
You know better than most that tubes can have a valve sound which also mean they bring a softening to attack. Great decay. But Peter will say his amps are connecting the dots and provide proper note to note flow which may be but other amps have more splash in the treble. You aren't getting perfection at these lower price points you just don't get it all - so AN compromises by doling out a darker chocolatey and thicker sound which is wonderful on vocals and ambiance cues but not going to have the biggest treble sparkle. The King amp has more treble sparkle than the OTO. The Meishu is a boring ass amplifier in my opinion. Forget playing any rock or big band jazz on it. Empress and Jinro. And the Empress for half the price I prefer.
The 219IA is better than the Meishu IMO for rock - I'll give the Meishu the win on the gentle Eva Cassidy music but not for rock.
More garbage !
a good tooby has no such sound , there is no softening or added decay and while many toobs amplifiers have that effect , really good toob amplfiers are not an effects box like you describe..
This is another issue where Speaker measurements matter , take the impedance phase and magnitude , this is very critical on toob amps with output transformers/speaker relationship, choose the wrong tap and you create an effects box and since most compromise by only having a 4ohm tap for ZMin , you will have to be very selective when choosing your speakers to match your output transformers and amp limitations ..
* Impedance zmin -Transformer relationship
Speaker FR means nothing when your amplifier is an effects altering Box under real world load ..
Btw , every genre of amplfiers known to man resides here , SS ,toobs and hybrids, what you wont find are small woody colored 2 way speakers looking for an effects amplfier ..
Tube amplifiers sound different from eachother. That's why tube manufacturers make different tube amps to appeal to the appetites of different people. Thats why I laugh at the idiots who always claim I am all AN all the time. The OTO is an EL84 and I like the EL 84. I would not buy the Soro or Meishu. None of these three amplifiers sound the same. They each have their appeal. That's why they've sold them all for 25+years.
And the capitalist market decides on the quality of speakers over the long run. Speakers you buy new for $3000 and 10 years later you sell for $3,500.
A few cranks on a forum can say whatever they wish. The sales figures, the audiophile market, the reviews, and the blind level matched sessions is what speak. And nefative constant spiral threads actually generate more free advertising for the speaker. So every time you go after them...mire sales for Auduo Note. PS it's also how I got noticed and into becoming a reviewer. It's peiple like you who allow me to get 40-60% off stereo equipment. So thank you for making me richer. Plus when i say stuff i get 70000 unique hits on my opinions...while you have 30 people reading a forum about what you have to say. Chortle chortle.
BTW Bose outsells AN, makes them superior per your typical ironic rants ..., :)
There is this thing called apples to apples comparisons.
Bose doesn't sell to audiophiles (they aren't apples they're doughnuts) - they sell to people who read GQ and who know nothing about high end audio - please list 5 reviewers who own current Bose as their primary listening system.
Even keeping it apples to apples (high end audiophile speaker brands) between say $5k and $10k designed for a Medium average sized room - Considering that the speakers are AN's tertiary business and many brands only design and manufacturer speakers - there is a high proportionality of AN J and E owners among the review press who have gone out and auditioned large portions of the competition. B&W is the largest selling Audiophile approved speaker maker. I bet more stereo reviewers own Audio Note than own B&W in that price range for example.
Magnepan would be high on the list as well - and while I don't particularly like the sound of Magnepan loudspeakers I am not blind to admit that a lot of people like them including reviewers. I don't begrudge Magnepan fans and owners for raving on about something they like.
Well, maybe you are right and maybe not. I have a 300B amp (JJ322) that has huge Double "C" core output transformers...like the Meishu signature and it doesn't sound at all syrupy or "carmel" colored. And why then do I hear something simliar with other amps on those speakers? Your hypothesis doesn't hold too much water, IMO. All the more reason to try it at home if possible.
I don't have a favorite powerful SS amp...
What does playing a speaker at 105db have to do with sound quality? Says a lot about where you are coming from soundwise...Classical music, btw, is the hardest test of a system, bar none. I can also promise you that my Odeons can do 105db with far less strain and far more impact. What does the loudness have to do with colorations? I will tell you, it only exaggerates them. The more the drivers have to move and the more the cabinet resonates the worse it gets. At 105db, you won't even see the woofers on my speakers move because the horn is doing all the work. Linearity...its a bitch.
Maybe the REAL problem is what Stereophile found out that AN speakers are not nearly as sensitive as they claim to be and 8 watts from Meishu is not enough. That would make a lot of sense.
Can't comment on the Meishu vs. Empress+M3...you could be right. I know that the TNT reviewer preferred the Ayon Crossfire (orginal MKI) to his M3+Quest monos. If Peter Q. has trouble designing with the 300B then why does he have so many amps with it?
I do not believe the 300B is an inferior tube to the others you mentioned. It is a very linear tube. It has to be used correctly and this it is probably less colored than other tubes...that's physics.
"The 219IA is better than the Meishu IMO for rock - I'll give the Meishu the win on the gentle Eva Cassidy music but not for rock"
Could be but it is probably speaker dependent. BTW. I found the LM219 to be too colored, which is why I bought the Wall monos and later the Crossfire III. It was ok and good for the money.
"You aren't getting perfection at these lower price points you just don't get it all - so AN compromises by doling out a darker chocolatey and thicker sound which is wonderful on vocals and ambiance cues but not going to have the biggest treble sparkle. "
A Meishu Silver Phono is not a cheap amp. It costs more than my Ayon I think and a lot more than my JJ322, which is about a $6K amp and doesn't sound at all chocolatey. The Ayon is light years away from chocolatey. Read the review on TNT from Geoff Husband...it tells the story nicely.
What about the very expensive AN amps with the 300B, starting with the Conquest Silver signature (about 20K), P4 balanced ($35K) and Kegon ($95K)?? You going to tell me that a Jinro sounds better than the Kegon?
"But Peter will say his amps are connecting the dots and provide proper note to note flow which may be but other amps have more splash in the treble"
I don't know any good SETs that have splashy treble. Sounds like an excuse for poor extension of his transformers.
Whatever, the Meishu has been in the lineup of AN for nearly ever and it is something that Peter Q. clearly supports and is often considered to the sweet spot in terms of price/performance in the AN line. Maybe it sucks but if so, why has it not been upgraded significantly in all this time? Your opinion, notwithstanding of course. Maybe you should write to Peter and tell him that the Meishu, in your opinion is damaging his companies reputation?
Tube amps using different designs and different tubes sounf a lit different do they not? If they all sound the same why do you not buy the cheapest one?
The Empress and the Quest i have firectly compared and IMO the Empress has far more impact. It actually has 1 less watt per channel but siunds cinsiderably more powerful.
I see the La Triviata measurements and that has to be the WORST treble respinse of any speaker. So yes i know you like briiiiiight horrible horn shout. Awful design at $10k says much about their crappy speakers usingvcheap parts quality. The reviewer also hated it. Can't even get imto the Asian or US/Canada market. Bwahahaha.
And AN E speakers are pretty "dark" sounding according to Stereophile... Plus that model of Odeon didn't stay in production long. Mine don't measure anything like that in my room (yes, I measure mine...). Have you made a measurment of your speakers to see what they really look like?
Not to mention the audible colorations heard by JA (cabinet resonances and woofer discontinuity). The woofer is several db higher than the treble.
So, not exactly stellar measurements either...especially the nearly 6db lower sensitivity than claimed.
The drivers in my speakers are not cheap. The Beyma titanium compression driver was over 200 euro per driver and was also used in other exotic speakers like the Jadis Eurythmie. It is a highly regarded driver. The mid/bass is from Audax...not terribly expensive but Audax makes very good drivers (as good as the ones in the Stereophile review anyway). Daniel Dehaye of Ref 3a fame was a designer for them and the first Ref 3a drivers are clearly derived from Audax drivers.
Looking at the FR in Stereophile, it is no wonder they love to have a live cello as a comparison...it plays right into where the speaker emphasizes sound...Peter Q. is clever that way...
Question for RGA.
I don't know about Morricab himself, but I remember that his wife (or ex-wife?) is a violinist, and it seems to me that he has a grand/baby grand piano at home. So, I have some confidence that he has a clue about real musical instrument sound. I think he also has some background in electronics. (Morricab, please correct me and add whatever seems appropriate.)
So, my question to RGA is: As an adult (as opposed to when you were in high school), do you or have you played an instrument at a reasonably high level of performance, and do you play in any sort of professional or semi-professional ensemble? (Guitar and rock bands don't count.) And, do you have ANY education in the fields of audio and acoustics?
The reason I ask is that you promote yourself as being some sort of expert in the field of hi-fi, but your profile doesn't contain any info about your qualifications. I "get it" that you've listened to a lot of gear and talked with a lot of people, but what is your audio, acoustical and musical education and background?
Thanks, and now back to our regularly scheduled debate.
Image from Gearbox Recording studios
No I do not play music and no I have no electronics background. And No I do not purport to be an expert in either field. In fact I am one of the only reviewers who objects to the word "professional" when discussing audio equipment reviewers because a professional body (Law, Education, Medicine) can boot people from the profession for various misconduct - and requires specific training and expertise in the field that is objective. Audio Equipment reviewing has none of that.
But let me ask you what you are driving at? I think you are seeking credibility. So if a person is a musician or an electronics engineer or recording engineer then they are more credible.
Actually I see your point and in certain fields I would agree with you. For instance if you were deciding between me and an engineer to design you a bridge - hire the engineer because if I do it you will surely plunge to your demise.
But I think you will find an issue with your argument almost immediately because in fact it doesn't matter if I have a degree in music or engineering. Let me illustrate why?
Can you evaluate the quality of a car without being a car designer or a mechanic? Of course you can. You may not be able to describe in glorious detail why the car sucks in the corner but you can certainly tell that it sucks in the corner by driving the car.
Can you evaluate a movie without being a film director or a cinematographer? Yes. Via experience with enough movies and some interest in learning you can offer a lot of reasons to support why a film is good or bad. Without any technical knowledge of any kind. A film may very well be a technical marvel and bore you to death. Just as a very simple low budget film with camera mistakes can be so well executed that is can turn the industry on end (The film Halloween comes to mind).
And what If I loved a product and raved about it and then a bunch of musicians and recording engineers came along and also started raving. In other words if I tell you the AN E is a good speaker based on my listening evaluations and you say - well RGA doesn't have an engineering degree and he doesn't play an instrument so the AN E sucks and Morricab who has a wife that plays a vioin, and he has an engineering degree must be correct.
But if you go down that route of musicians and degrees being more "truthful" then all I have to do to win that argument is to merely show you that more famous musicians and more famous engineers stand behind the AN E. So in that case I just have to present some people who from an experience and background perspective blow Morricab out of the water.
So here you go.
Steve Hoffman is a mastering/recording engineer for the following groups:
He has remastered over 500 Audiophile quality Compact Discs and LP's [and SACD] working with such artists as:
The Eagles, The Doors, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Nat 'King' Cole, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Cream, The Cars, Blondie, Jim Croce, Linda Ronstadt, Jethro Tull, The Doobie Brothers, Jackson Browne, Steve Miller Band, Elton John, Van Halen, Bonnie Raitt, Al Green, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Stan Getz, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Pepper, Rod Stewart, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Wes Montgomery and many, many, others.
So would you say that he has more professional experience with MUSIC than someone who merely has a wife who plays the violin?
This is what Steve Hoffman owns
Audio Note TT-2 Deluxe/Arm 3 v1, UK IO-1 MC/AN S9L/step-up.
DAC4.1X Balanced D to A,
CD Transport 3.
M6 RIAA phono preamp.
OTO phono SE Signature integrated.
AN-E/SPx HE Alnico speakers,
Sogon LX96 bi-wire speaker wire,
Sogon 50 interconnects, Isis interconnects.
So on the music experience and recording engineering mastering engineering front it doesn't get a whole lot more experienced.
So if you want to rely on the music experience or engineering front then this is a good start wouldn't you say.
There are world class classical composers, pianists, reviewers, recording engineers, audio engineers, who own Audio Note.
Peter Van Wellenswaard (Stereophile contributing engineer)
See what speakers he is using for his measurements
Peter Bruninger (Stereophile/TAS AV reviews owns them and recently awarded it loudspeaker of the year.
Peter attends more audio shows than anyone has heard all the speakers Morricab has heard and has the bucks and experience.
Wes Philips (Stereophile hailed AN E as the best hi-fi he has ever heard) https://www.stereophile.com/ces2009/ongaku_means_ecstasy/index.html
Kevin Fiske (Hi-Fi Critic) owns AN E
Hi-Fi Choice magazine uses the AN E as their reference loudspeaker and has won both blind tests it was in - the AN J also won its blind test)
Chris Redmond (6 moons owns them) http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/christopher/christopher.html
That's off the top of my head - don't even get me started on all the reviewers in the non English press that own them and who are musicians.
Piano machine of dreams and the AN E
And guess what - it still only comes down to the person's ears. One person may be able to explain the technical issues of a product and write up glorious detailed white papers talking about the technical feats of a given tweeter - but it doesn't in fact make them hear better. JA doesn't have better hearing ability than Art Dudley just because he can measure a loudspeaker in a more sophisticated manner.
And guess what - all the blather and all the experts and the sheer number of reviewers and musicians and engineers I could probably work hard to add to the list STILL doesn't mean you will like them. I mean there are people who hate cats (for the life of me I can't understand that) but there are and me touting 50 reasons why a cat is better than a dog is never going to change the Dog fan's mind. (I like dogs too).
The problem with morricab is that he ignores all these reviewers and engineers and musicians who have heard all the gear and like AN. None of those people count. What counts is that RGA likes AN and he does not and many years back before he ever heard Audio Note he was in forum arguments with Peter Qvortrup and thus merely has an axe to grind - it doesn't matter what AN puts out - he hates it before he even walks in the door.
Here are few recent reviews
Hi-Fi Choice 2013 comparing it to a previous system of 700 watts per channel.
It's Pretty obvious your lack of experience with SOTA systems is your biggest Achilles heel , followed by bad ideology and dogma ..
There was once a time when being a reviewer required standards , I remember vividly meeting for the first time , Pearson , Norton, JA, Gordon Holt, as others , my, my, how this has changed...
Hey man just read my next review - I sent in lots of pictures I had you in mind. I know you say you only like reviews with lots and lots of pictures. Not terribly surprised.
Perhaps we can make a comic book version just for you.
I'm puzzled about the majority of your reply, including the photo and references to other folks, which seems to be irrelevant.
I simply asked what your professional/semi-professional background and education is, given that you present yourself as an expert in audio.
So, the short answer is: No, you're not a musician, you don't have an electronics background, nor any education in audio or acoustics. Have I got that right?
I answered your question near the beginning of the post.
Sorry if I misread your intention. Lots of people look for different things in audio. You seemed to be genuine in wanting to know if what I like is supported by Musicians/technical people. Since I am not a musician or bother with the technical side of things anymore - I simply pointed you to people who are.
I do have a girlfriend who is a symphony level violinist and she also plays the piano, cello, Theremin (Star Trek), guitar, and can sing.
The question you should ask is if I have an Acoustic Engineering degree. There is a difference say in acoustic engineering and mechanical engineering. If I were a mechanical engineer my expertise on psycho-acoustics would be just as worthless as a degree in basket weaving.
"The problem with morricab is that he ignores all these reviewers and engineers and musicians who have heard all the gear and like AN. None of those people count. What counts is that RGA likes AN and he does not and many years back before he ever heard Audio Note he was in forum arguments with Peter Qvortrup and thus merely has an axe to grind - it doesn't matter what AN puts out - he hates it before he even walks in the door."
This is full of completely false statements! I don't ignore those people's opinions...just don't rate them as highly as my own...just like they would value their own opinions more than mine...including you (except when you like to use the old "appeal to authority" trick).
As I have also said, it is not true that I have an issue with AN per se and think their electronics designs are interesting.
It is true that I have not yet heard a demo of an all AN system that left me drooling on the floor and figuring out how to rob a bank to get all level 5 gear. It is also true that I have not heard an all Level 5 system (bits and pieces at that level but not a whole system).
Whereas I have heard KONDO systems that did leave me hungry for such a system; however, we can both agree that Kondo and AN UK are quite different in their designs.
It is false that I have an axe to grind with Peter Q. I don't get that emotional about it as you would seem to project upon me. My main objection is the speaker designs, which have obvious flaws (or design features I guess if you are very generous) that have been massaged to get a particular "sound" from the speakers. Then the claim that AN gear gives more contrast to recordings except the speakers will sing with one coloration (see stereophile resonance measurements) that can be heard on any recording that excites them (practically all). Seems rather contradictory, no?
Now, I would be willing to ignore this contradiction IF I had heard a setup that blew my socks off like some Kondo systems (non-Kondo speakers though) I have heard over the years. Of course all the AN systems had AN speakers...since I don't see a fundamental problem with the electronics (and I have heard all levels but not the highest all together) but the sound is never WOW...usually Meh or OK. Again, observation not dogma.
I actually like the design concepts with his electronics and would love to try them out one day. I have said as much...so much for the axe to grind.
I always walk in with an open mind, thinking "maybe I could by some of this stuff if I am sufficiently impressed". That is the truth. So it is false to say that I hate it before I walk in the door. Otherwise, I simply wouldn't walk in the door. I hear potential...unrealized. So, I walk-in sit down and listen for a while until I realize it just ain't there. Maybe some day I will try a digital source, amp and cables with my speakers and become a convert...or not.
So, plenty of false characterization in your post.
For the record, it was my ex that plays violin (she is 1st chair (Konzertmeisterin) in an orchestra in Germany now) and I have a Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry with electronics experience in designing analytical instrumentation.
Graph is from Stereophile. The matching review is quite interesting. https://www.stereophile.com/content/odeon-la-traviata-loudspeaker-measurements
Odeon horns Obvious measurements issues?
Everything will sound bright and obnoxious on them. Contrast? Which level of bright do you like.
I mean I know that the AN speakers all look and measure similarly but the Odeon models are quite diverse and therefore not all measure like this one example.
As I have said, I have measured mine in-room and it is nothing like this plot. Nor do they sound bright.
If you read the review, MF was puzzled why this model doesn't sound nearly as good as the Tosca he had heard previously and whetted his appetite for the brand. The Tosca (since I am sure you wouldn't know the lineup at that time) was the little brother of my La Bohemes. Same compression tweeter but with an 8 inch back horn loaded design rather than a 10 inch back loaded design that mine have.
"The Tosca's mid/HF horn was integrated with a conventional-looking baffle also containing a reflex-loaded cone woofer. For all intents and purposes, it looked like a normal loudspeaker, but what it was doing with a CD of Sonny Rollins' Way Out West was anything but. "
"I still remember what drew me to the Toscas at the Frankfurt HiFi show."
That is how my friends have reacted to hearing my La Bohemes (3 of them went right out and bought Odeons) at my place with a good SET amp on them.
Funny enough the measurements of the AN E are nearly a mirror image with a bumped up lower mid/upper bass shelving down by several db into the mids and highs. They sound that way everytime I have heard them...guess it speaks to the consistency of the design...
One friend had Odeon 32s (now he has 38s) and we measured those and they also look nothing like this stereophile plot. I just talked last night to another friend that has Rigolleto MkIIs that was raving about the bass they produce...if anything they sound more in the direction of ANs balancewise...but still with that full horn speed.
So, please stop parading around the one measurement that you have found...we can do the same with the rather crappy measurements from AN speakers...you want perfect measurements then buy a Magico.
The difference when someone argues that speaker A has a crappy measurements versus speaker B that has crappy measurements or that speaker C has great measurements is that at some point the sound of the three speakers should reflect the overall listening experience.
So speaker C should always be chosen by the listeners as best and yet JUST at Stereophile you have AN E supporters: More than supporters. And like I tell you over and over and you seem to stubborn to read and get it to your skull that AN E is not primarily a speaker maker and the proportionality of press for the E is more than virtually any other speaker maker (that solely make speakers as their only line of business)
Art Dudley bought the speakers
Peter Van Wellenswaard bought the speakers
Peter Bruninger Bought the speakers
Wes Philips "Forget best sound of show, for sheer emotional delivery, timbral clarity, dynamic agility, and, yes, the highest fidelity, the Audio Note system may have been the best hi-fi I have ever heard.
Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/ces2009/ongaku_means_ecstasy/index.html#UumILXJdYLJixccp.99
When these guys or any others buys an Odeon speaker please let me know. I'm not interested in your "my buddy bought an Odeon" who cares? I have 10 buddies who bought AN speakers. One of the men who took down Nixon bought AN speakers. Reviewers like Bruninger have auditioned virtually "everything" - The "my buddies" has not.
A good scientists knows the difference between correlation and overwhelming evidence versus anecdotal evidence.
So while some can say the AN E measures bad all they like - the subjective response was that all the speakers all these reviewers have heard and just from Stereophile were quite taken with them.
My favorite speakers are not AN by the way but in fact horns. But the horns that I have liked are ludicrously expensive and so I do not think it's fair to be comparing $50,000-$400,000 horns to $3k-$10k Audio Notes. I would never say these speakers are designed for hi-fi "roller audiophiles" that own music as a means to listen to their stereos. You want the system discussion. Music over the gear for me.
I am less interested in the measurement. Overwhelming and consistent reviews from all around the world and every publication for 40 years! Does actually merit.
Michael Jackson also sold a boatload of albums and had an immense talent - I can recognize that fact without personally liking his music. You are unable to recognize something that is quality even if you don't personally like it. Objective scientists and critics have that capability of removing their own personal tastes from the fact that others have their tastes.
I can recognize that Magnepan is successful - I can recognize why people like the sound and I can recognize that for many it is the panacea to their musical bliss. I personally don't care for the sound. I don't have to like it to be able to recognize that other people do.
I see no end game win for you or why you keep bringing the speaker up. It's okay for you not to like them. No one likes everything. You seem to feel the need to make me not like them because you say so. Or that I need to like something else more. The something else that I do like more are extremely costly.
Guess what - Peter Qvortrup also likes other speakers more. He's the only designer that I know of who has actually publicly stated on this very forum that he likes other speakers more than his AN E - and he actually provided a list of those speakers. He is also working on other speakers right now.
So if you're under some impression that I think the only answer is the AN E you've deluded yourself. There are countless speakers that I would be happy to have. It's just that in virtually all cases those other speakers cost significantly more money and don't have the overall balanced presentation. Teresonic Ingenium - great - but $20,000 versus the AN E/lx at $5800. The AN doesn't have the midrange openess but it has IMO better treble and better bass depth and drive - it can handle trance music and hard rock better. But the Ingenium has no crossover and is more transparent and has better attack. I could list a T Chart as to why the Ingenium is better and why the E is better. They're both not perfect by any stretch but I personally demand more perfection at $20k than I do at $10k or $5k.
Further some of those speakers I like better are not just way more expensive but are designed for way bigger rooms - and will suck in a medium or small room. Thus even if I did like the Grand Slamm or MAXX 3 from Wilson or the Soundlab U1 - the point is moot since they can't fit in normal spaces.
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
You are funny.
Looking at your system in your profile puts a lie to everything you have posted here. AN this and AN that. Only your cd player is a holdover LM player. You HAD a LM amp... probably because living in Hong Kong you got it for a very good price.
You bought the LM219 for WAY less than $7500...don't even try to deny it. I could have got one here from Germany for under 4K and that was from the distributor not gray market.
You can say what you want about the rest...not really interested. If I ever hear an AN demo that blows me away, you will be the first to know, ok?
I might try to get an Oto SE signature to try on my speakers...it will have to run the gauntlet of Ayon Crossfire and JJ322 though...not an easy challenge. I would try a Meishu Silver Sig if the dealer has one to try.
I sold ALL my Ref 3as for more than I paid...so what? My friend who has one pair loves them...when I go to his place it is a very nice coherent sound. I rag on you and I have heard both (owned 3 pairs of Ref 3as). Would still have at least the Master Control MMCs (with Be upgrade) if I hadn't found my ultra rare Odeons.
Your points are meaningless in light of your system profile.
Yes I can get the LMs for less in Hong Kong - but then I can get virtually everything for less since I am a reviewer. I paid extra for the deluxe version - which is not available to Europeans or Americans.
So the price to me is still apples to apples.
I own some Audio Note gear yes - so what you own and continuously recommend Odeon all the bloody time - Odeon this and Odeon that. And before that it was Reference 3a this and Reference 3a that and before that it was an endless series of Apogee is better than anything at everything always - blah blah blah.
You sold your Reference 3a speakers for more than you paid (NEW right) You bought them brand new? No of course you didn't. Nice try bud.
I am talking about selling the speaker ABOVE the NEW list price or the new dealer price. I passed on a mint condition Reference 3a MM De Capo selling for $700 Cad.
The NEW list price was of that speaker was $2300. The speaker 13 years later LOST $1600. The AN J/Spe I sold for $450 more than the NEW LIST price.
Apples to apples. I could probably buy the De Capo for $700 and manage to find someone to pay $850 big deal. That is NOT the same thing. The guy who bought my speakers will very likely be able to sell it for several hundred more than he paid to me - I took less because I wanted to sell them quickly as I only stay in Canada for 5 weeks each year - not much of a window. And even then I had a generous fellow forum poster sell them for me.
I have 4 AN products
AN E/Spx AlniCo Hemp (the exact same pair as Steve Hoffman)
AN Oto Phono SE (in Canada not being used and when I get home I will be putting it up for sale) So I own it but not using it.
AN AX Two speakers
That 3 items being used and one to soon be sold.
Non Audio Note
Cambridge Audio CD 6
Line Magnetic 215
Line Magnetic 502CA
Marantz slim 1514 receiver
Sony CDP (300 disc changer)
KingKo KA 101
Grant Fidelity power conditioner
And several other cable brands from Linn and Tara Labs
How many ODEON speakers do you have. Seems you have fronts rears (that's 4) and you have a center and a second pair of fronts - that's 7 Odeon Speakers. I have 2 pairs of AN speakers (4). So what are you babbling about. I have 3 pairs (6 speakers) not from Audio Note.
I bet if Odeon made a good SET amp and an R2R DAC that you liked more than your monarchy you would BUY those too. But they don't so you don't.
I have two pairs...a pair in my big rig and a pair in my TV rig. I also have a pair of Decware HDTs that sound very nice as well, thank you very much. Don't know how the hell you got 7.
To be fair, the HDTs are probably overall better sounding than my small Odeons. Not as even but more lively.
I simply don't believe that someone paid you over new list for used speakers. Why would they do this??
you have 5 (or 6 products). You didn't count the cables, did you? You should.
Well, one of my friends liked the Odeons so much that he bought two pairs of big ones and is now an Odeon dealer. A second friend went Gaga and bought a pair as well...I just played the music they made up their own minds.
So far, nothing has made me replace the Monarchy until now. I am getting an Aries Cerat Kassandra II DAC. It is old school like AN (same AD1865N chip but 16 per channel) with tube and transformer coupling of the analog stage. I will keep the Monarchy for the TV system, which currently has a PS Audio Ultralink II from way back in 1993 (has UltraAnalog 20bit module in it).
I am not married to brands...look at my sources and amps: Monarchy/PS Audio and Kinergetics Research DACS (also with UA chips), Silvaweld phonostage, NAT Plasma and PureSound L10 preamps and Ayon Crossfire/JJ322 amps. Speakers I tend to stay with for longer. I haven't had Apogees in forever...I was more impressed with Acoustats and would have happily stayed with them if space was not an issue for a long time. Might even go back again for a second system.
If Odeon made amps and sources I would probably try them out...so what?
Whatecer you're a waste of my time. We go round the same things every 6 months for years. AN is selling hand over fist and has doubled their employye count just since the enjoythemusic interview with Peter. The Hong Dealer sold 200 M6 preamps at $20k ans that is just one model of one amplifier at one dealer.
So hate them all you like ... it will get you nowhere. All the dealers with AN speakers bring in competung nrand after competing brand and it's those that wind up getting dropped.
As for the speakers going up...that is in part because the new speaker goes up every couple of years...because the model LASTS.
The $2500 AN J in 2000 is now $5500 In 2017. So the owner can easily get $3000 to $3,500 today.
Let's use some logic here. I am quite sure at thus point that I have made all the possible points I can over the years. None convince you. So it's over.
You will not convince me. So you are 100% wasting your time engaging me. I like what I like amd I don't like what I don't like.
It's that simple. Time to ban each other from each other...or the bored administrators will eventually.
Unlike A Wayne who is just a troll, I respect you as a poster. But we just go down the exact same argument 50 times. You hate the AN E, I defend it and list the mammoth number of reviews that love it, I rip your speakers, you defend it and list reviews that support them. 6 months later rinse repeat.
Surely as a man who has an education you know that doing the same thing over and over and getting the same result is a pointless endevour. PS this applies to me as well.
You really crack me up , the Irony of dissonance ... :)
@Jphelan , horns are different from wave guides , a true horn while sometimes referred to as a waveguide has compression and expansion , a typical wave guide does not , there is no compression and then expansion with a waveguide...
You crack me up too my friend. Perhaps come to the California Audio Show July 29/30th and we can have some beers and a laugh.
Would you consider +/-2db 22hz - 45khz fairly accurate? How about +/- 1.5db 180hz - 30khz with a group delay of .1 milliseconds 500hz - 29khz with the best waterfall plot ever recorded by the rag to date? How about a distortion figure of .5% 35hz - 130hz dropping to .2% to 700hz increasing to a wopping 4% at 25hz for the bass drivers?
That's if measurements are your thing.
Nah I take little from that in terms of how it sounds. Sub satellites can achieve those sorts of numbers and I've never been impressed by sub satellites.
Sub sat system you never liked? BWAAAAAA HA HA HA HA HA.
I dont believe RGA is able to evalute such a system , he currently wants every system to sound like his reference system , nothing to do with live music amd dynamics ...
The speakers aren't satellites. They are full range loudspeakers augmented with subwoofers. And in truth I don't much care for those either when one factors in the price/performance ratio.
I'm not compensating.
I beg to differ. I don't know anyone that would run the big Infinitys with just the midrange and tweets, the Wilson watt puppy without the bass unit, and definitely not the MBLs. None of these are full range speakers without the bass units, none. And all of these would make the KEFs bow to their superiors.
Open your mind, spread your horizons, you might just find there's a whole world of things you didn't know.
As for your requesting a list of the top 5 measuring speakers of all time and no one stepping up to the plate, you dismiss them out of hand when offered so might this have been the case then also?
You are welcome to use terminology however you please, but I seriously doubt you'll find Arnie calling the IRS or Genesis wings "satellites". Nor by other manufacturers like Nola who refer to them as "towers" with models like the Grand Reference .
Where you will, however, find that term used is with speakers like these .
And I don't call electrical conduit "pipe", but that doesn't make it any less of a piece of pipe.
But that's not what this is about if you read the thread. It's about his challenge, "Rich" is the one that brought up sub/sat systems not me. I only provided a set of measurements for his challenge, he doesn't want responses only affirmation.
Rich is the one that brought up sub/sat systems not me.
Which I think you'll find defines a very different sort of speaker to most folks than the examples you provided.
I only provided a set of measurements for his challenge, he doesn't want responses only affirmation.
If you recall, that was not his question:
"Of course I am always happy to have a list of the 5 most accurate loudspeakers on the planet. "
"(with full measurements to back it up)."
I gave him the measurements, he doesn't want to know what they are. Sounds like a politician, is he running for office, I want the chance to cast my vote.
I gave him the measurements, he doesn't want to know what they are.
I won't speak for him, but I would never attempt to evaluate the total experience of a speaker system based upon a few metrics such as the ones you provided. I too, would be curious to see a list of those which measure best to correlate that with the far more complex real world test of auditioning them.
Years ago, I heard one of the arguably "best" measuring amplifiers at the time (Halcro) in an exceptional system. They sounded clinical and amusical. If memory serves, the journalist who had them chose not to write a review.
The Halcro was not the best measuring amp , it had the lowest THD as measured by stereophile , this was debunked years ago and if you look at Stereophile's bench measurments there were many signs of issues , especially with any load below 8ohms ..
Their recent test on the boulder power amp is one of the best i have ever seen in print , fantastic achivement by Boulder ...
if you look at Stereophile's bench measurments there were many signs of issues , especially with any load below 8ohms ..
Evidently, JA missed that:
"Halcro's dm58 offers astonishing measured performance for an amplifier, particularly when it comes to harmonic and intermodulation distortion. Most important, this does not appear to have been achieved by compromising other aspects of the amplifier's performance, as was the case in the "THD Wars" of the 1970s. "
Would you care to point at the "many signs of issues" found in the measurements ?
I'm sure you understood JA measured words and understand enuff yourself to see the fly in the ointment test results ...
This amp will have issues driving real world loads and is truly only an 8 ohm load amp , secondly it's distortion knee is pretty sharp , so there is no gradual rise in harmonic distortion which is necessary for audiophilia warmth and since JA did not do a low mW test without the noise for us to see what the first watt looks like i can't comment on that important first Watt..
IMO If you place this Halcro amp on a 4 ohm nom speaker, with Z-Min in the 1- 2 ohm range you will find the drive disappointing , also with such low thd/imd levels the pre amp will provide the sonic charateristics of the Halcro , pre-amp and cables will be ultra sensitive here..
If you could describe your Halcro Experience and setup , we could discuss this more ...
If you could describe your Halcro Experience and setup , we could discuss this more ...
At the time (2001?), C-J ART II using Nordost Vahalla interconnects and speaker cable into Nola Grand References.
Apparently JA just doesn't get it, right?
I guess u got me ....
The challenge had nothing to do with evaluating the speakers for musicality, only the criteria of measurements, those I provided thinking if he "really" wanted a list he would be interested to know what they are, instead he assumed and denigrated a whole genre of speaker systems, so the challenge wasn't real, he just wants affirmation, I don't stroke egos.
The challenge had nothing to do with evaluating the speakers for musicality...
your criteria is clearly different from mine for speaker selection.
if he "really" wanted a list he would be interested to know what they are
Yes, I think you finally understand his question. So what speakers are they?
Now "you're" assuming, where did I state I evaluate speakers based on measurements? The "challenge" wasn't about evaluating musicality based on listening, it was about measurements, he wanted measurements, I provided them.
If measurements were my thing would I own multiple sets of Klipsch speakers lol.
In my original post I stated "if measurements are your thing", they are definitely not "my thing" lol. Obviously they must be Rich's thing, by his own words he's been obsessing about it for more than five yrs just waiting for someone to answer his challenge.
Oh, I understand his question perfectly, he wants everyone to bow to his expertise, again, I don't stroke egos.
Oh, I understand his question perfectly, he wants everyone to bow to his expertise, again, I don't stroke egos.
I don't get that impression at all. I think it's clear that measurements don't begin to convey a speaker's real world performance or desirability.
If measurements were my thing would I own multiple sets of Klipsch speakers lol.
Good illustration of the disconnect. Driven by Halcro amps!
Oh, I understand his question perfectly, he wants everyone to bow to his expertise, again, I don't stroke egos.
I don't get that impression at all.
"PS it's also how I got noticed and into becoming a reviewer. It's peiple like you who allow me to get 40-60% off stereo equipment. So thank you for making me richer. Plus when i say stuff i get 70000 unique hits on my opinions...while you have 30 people reading a forum about what you have to say. Chortle chortle."
Well maybe now you get the whole picture. Not able to get the affirmation he so desperately required he finally resorted to proclaiming his greatness himself. Rather embarrassing actually to see a man drop his pants here on the open forum for everyone to see, very sad.
I came up with sub satellite initially because I typed your provided spec into google and got Infinity standmounts and a sub. Which could explain the frequency plot you mentioned. Which is why I gave you the first reply I gave you.
Actually, affirmation seeking perhaps is a fair criticism that you make here. I do tend to engage with people too much and let things go down the road too far. So point well taken. This is a nebulous audio board. I am arguing essentially with a computer screen with people I have never met.
Thanks Martin - lesson learned. I probably could avoid all these problems for myself if there was an ignore button. I probably have to try not to bother arguing an experiential based hobby like Audio with graphs and words.
At the end of the day - you either like what you hear or you do not - if you don't like the sound of something no amount of white papers, frequency graphs and arguments made about distortion or frequency or resonance will sway you.
"I came up with sub satellite initially because I typed your provided spec into google and got Infinity standmounts and a sub. Which could explain the frequency plot you mentioned. Which is why I gave you the first reply I gave you."
If this is the model of Infinity speakers you Googled it would be a HUGE mistake to lump them in with your typical "package" surround sub/sat system lol.
Sold for $3300 in 1990 dollars, was Arnie's idea of what a high end small monitor / sub setup should be, cost no object. The monitors will stand on their own, but the complete system is the whole point.
Yes this is what I googled - Back in 1990 I almost bought a similar looking set from M&K (George Lucas' choice of speaker brand).
I preferred Klipsch and Wharfedale horn speakers back then however. Even with the worse measurements.
Ya, I remember M&K's system, gobs of visceral impact for movies but the Modulus system is in another league when it comes to music reproduction.
This is not meant in any way to denigrate M&K, they make some very musical speakers, but the speakers I've shown above were designed with home theater in mind, and they're outstanding in this regard.
Now we're getting somewhere.
You asked for measurements so I provided them, something that never comes into play when I'm auditioning equipment. Kind of like using measurements to pick a girlfriend, absolutely insane lol. Don't get me wrong, I'm as superficial as the next guy, but just as in our hobby, when it comes to women measurements can't tell us whether we'll be compatible or not.
Disagree , historically i'm very compatible with D-Cups , never with an A or B- cup so like audio , measurements do help ..
I live in Hong Kong so I will not likely see a D cup ever again - but there is the internet and the occasional vacation.
As I said, I'm as superficial as the next guy, maybe more so. My late bride of 32yrs was a model so ya looks are important. But compatibility isn't guaranteed just because the measurements are there.
Imagine the elephant man's head on a female body measuring 44-26-36, but the only info you have are the measurements, can we say "but-her-face". LOL
More Irony .....
Since you follow me from forum to forum replying to most of my threads, I must have gotten under your skin. So please before I get you too irritated I recommend for your blood pressure that you put me on your ignore list. I won't be able to agitate you anymore.
Hope you enjoy your system and have a great day.
Follow you around ..! Hallucinate much ..? ..... LMAO
You may or may not one day become a good reviewer , well , if you could ever get past your current limited level of understanding, maybe if you did an apprenticeship with a seasoned reviewer , like Mikey Fremer or even Brad, Someone with a little SOTA exposure , system and setup knowledge , who could walk you through your current ideological minefield of doom..
As it is ,
very difficult taking you seriously as a reviewer , every discussion leads to the same Angry diatribe about an AN 2 way speaker superior to all and everything else is crap .. if you were really serious about being a reviewer you would actually get a proper listening room / space which would allow you to actual do worth while reviews of someone's product , as it is you would only be wasting someone's hard work , well unless, you are one off those given a copy of the review along with your 40-60% discount..
Thank you for interesting reply. I do try to reply to those posters in need so point by point.
1) Exposure to SOTA equipment. To which SOTA equipment should I avail myself to audition that I have missed? I recently had a reply from Kal Rubinson of Stereophile who noted that reviewers listen and evaluate gear at shows, friend's homes, dealers, and not JUST in their own homes. We can't hear everything in our own homes after all. Even Morricab has not had a full AN system in his own home - Thus if it is reasonable or unreasonable for one it is reasonable or unreasonable for all.
I don't begrudge him not having heard an all AN system in his own house because I am not one to make excuses that you need to hear it in your own space to credibly critique it. The best you can do is to be as fair as possible to the gear by hearing it several times in several "different" environments with several different pieces of gear. Stereo equipment is supposed to be designed to operate in a variety of rooms not just the manufacturer's room or an an-echoic chamber.
Morricab claims to have done this. He has heard AN at shows more than once and at friends' houses and he doesn't like them. I am not trying to convince him to like them - no one can like everything.
2)"diatribe about an AN 2 way speaker superior to all and everything else is crap."
I go down this route a lot because I have had many posters on many forums go at me about this speaker and then I get posts where someone says wow thanks Richard you were right - just didn't hear it until the 5th time.
Morricab should know a poster here called the OldSchool who continually blasted me for recommending AN and telling me that he heard them at a show and they sucked - no treble - coloured blah blah blah. For years! Remind you of anyone (ahem Morricab).
Then the Old School brought his own records (which is critical) and played them at CAS. This is what Old School Said About AN when he didn't like the AN E at all at several shows:
"IMO, the Audio Notes are full, warm, but far too polite. Everything sounds the same via them, vinyl or digital: smooth, full, relaxed. They thus flunk the "sounds different with different sources" test. The Quads are not nearly as smooth as the ANs, but vastly clearer, and more detailed. What the Quads lack is low bass and impact or force. The Teresonics are a different animal altogether. When I went from the AN room to the Teresonic room (which were right next to each other at the CAS), I was shocked at how different these systems sounded. While the ANs were always polite, the Teresonics could come alive when the source was excellent. Voices, brass, bass, everything just seemed to "be in the room." IMO, the ANs are, ultimately, boring, and the Teresonics are thrilling."
The above criticism is the exact same thing that Morricab writes as critique on these AN speakers. It's SPOOKY how similar the wording is and the fact that like Odeon - Teresonic is a very high sensitive loudspeaker over 100dB sensitive. Umm and I heard the same thing at CAS 2012. I did not choose AN as best sound of show (which nullifies your theory) and in fact they didn't make my top ten. I chose YG Acoustics, MBL, Acoustic Zen, Focal, and Von Gaylord. So there goes your conspiracy theory that it's always AN and everything else is crap.
That said - when AN came together properly under Warren Jarret setting up the room (don't assume that a "buddy" has set them up properly).
The Old School posted this:
"I heard the Triangle Art, Music First, and Audio Note setup at a recent CAS, and the vast improvement of the Audio Note speakers was stunning, compared to all the other setups I have heard. Whereas previous Audio Note systems failed when they were playing my reference vinyl records, the Music First combination was as good as anything I have ever heard at a dealer or a show. Correction: it was far, far better than anything I have heard, aside from my own system. The sound was liquid, fast, coherent, rich and HUGE. Plus, no annoying "sweet spot" that most speakers have. Here the system loaded the whole room, and the sound was fabulous anywhere in the room. On my fantastic Chet Baker vinyl, the trumpet and Pepper Adams's sax were in the room! No compression whatsoever. 40 db plus dynamics (from 65 to over 105) . This was using the Audio Note 2a3 amp. Male and female voices were tonally correct with the unlimited dynamics."
So yes I am happy to engage about these speakers and I am patient - because Several people who utterly hated the AN E have come around to a polar opposite opinion. Incidentally way back on Audioreview I hated the speakers too!
My diatribes are not angry - they are heavily explanatory and wordy. (Pretty good for a three finger typist).
3)Listening space - What is the problem with my listening space? Large speakers are designed for large rooms - small speakers for small rooms. A small speaker in a large room often sounds horrible and vice-versa. I am merely limited the smaller speakers in a manufacturer's line-up. The Focal Diablo Utopia not the Grand Utopia.
RGA, you must be a glutton for punishment lol.
It's somewhat the nature of these discussions. How does one really argue for or against a subjective opinion?
If I say XYZ is the best sound I have heard it is somewaht similar to tje essays I wrote in university. You state an opinion on a topic and it is not accepted unless you can bring in evidence to support your case. Usually, that comes from external, authority, statistics, primary sources, secondary sources.
So that is largely all that can be done on audio. No one can replace another person's primary experience. The only thing that can ve done is to say well XYZ is ecellent because of: appeal to authorities, statistical results, etc etc.
So when XYZ has say 15 authorities, and secondary and tertiary evidence that make a very strong case while ABC has no authorities or evidence to suggest it is a strong product then this is really all we have in audio discourse.
It's an experiential thing which words can't replace. You can read about swimming in the ocean all you want but actually doing it is something entirely different.
The problem, there are so many holes in your reasons for why you argue for AN.
Let's just consider one reason, resale value.
Not long ago there was such a demand for Harley Davidson motorcycles the waiting list was quite extensive, so much so when taking ownership you could literally walk out the door and sell the bike for double what you just paid. Harleys hold their resale value still today, does that make them a great motorcycle?
I have friends that refer to their Harley as "old leaker" due to the fact Harleys tend to leak oil. I ride a Honda, more reliable, faster, cheaper to purchase, etc etc., but the Harley will still hold its resale value better.
Is the Harley the better bike? Well if resale and cache value are high on your list then ya. If riding a motorcycle is your priority then the Honda is the better choice.
My point? I never consider resale value when making a purchase, either I like the item or I don't, what I can profit off the deal just isn't important, it's the music.
And please don't think I don't like Harleys because I do, the reason mine looks so much like one, my brother rides one, I think they're great bikes, but their resale value has nothing to do with that.
Exactly Martin and I wholeheartedly agree with what you wrote. I know a lot of motorcycle guys who tell me that Harley isn't a particularly good motorcycle in any reliability arena. Other bikes perform better for less.
But as I said you provide more than one argument when you write those five paragraph essays in high school. The most important thing is to have your thesis at the end of the opening paragraph and that thesis statement generally contains your three best arguments FOR something. So if it were an essay as to why cats make better pets than dogs it would go something like this.
Cats make better pets than dogs because, cats can be left alone for longer periods of time, cats are less expensive, and lastly cats are easier to maintain.
Then you would write detailed reasons for each and how each combine with each other to make the case stronger. While also knocking down the case against.
So take the resale value case - well the fact that AN holds value in itself means little to nothing. It only means something if it has some context.
So if we have 10 objective motorcycle mechanics review a bunch of bikes and they conclude that the Harley is an unreliable mess but it looks cool and sounds cool then the experts are not really on board with this being a particularly good motorcycle. User experience will also factor in.
A lot of Solid State amplifier often move to Single Ended Triode amplifiers - they don't often go the other way.
So to me it is taking several different arguments and when you put them together you realize that the resale value isn't coming from awesome looking products or nostalgia for collecting.
Of course both of us could do research and explain why a Harley is a worse bike than XYZ but it probably won't stop the guy who loves them from loving them. Maybe they like continuously fixing them.
Me I tend to not like traveling on or in things without a roll cage - but anyway.
I said "let's pick one reason", I could pick apart each and every reason you give that isn't "I just like them better", which is REALLY the only reason that matters.
Here's an example, of the many speakers I've owned I'll use two to help illustrate my point. Both armed with identical sized drivers and similar sized cabinets but with one costing almost five times the other.
First up is a Sony, not exactly a name with a ton of cache value by most in our hobby, but the SS-M3 and it's siblings are no joke, just read the glowing reviews. And if seen in person it's obvious a ton of money went into RD for these little babies, and once heard then you know it was money well spent.
Our second contender carries a name with tons of cache value, Infinity. But this little speaker is from the lowly RS line, the unassuming RS-325. In direct comparison to the Sony it looks like your basic run of the mill 6.5" two way. And adding insult to injury it's ported, something that usually has me looking somewhere else.
The Sonys are a bad ass little speaker, upon auditioning they blew me away with their full bodied sound. They were the little darlings of the reviewing world so I'm not the only one that felt this way.
I purchased the little Infinitys for my now deceased father in law and had them stored away. Although being from infinity the highly affordable RS line are not the darlings of the reviewing world, but these little babies really boogie.
In direct comparison playing music the Sonys now sounded flat with the little Infinitys kicking their butts. This really caught me off guard, I LIKE THE SONYS DAMN IT, but the music didn't lie. I had to admit my prejudices against ported designs was just that, these mothers get my toes tapping.
Moral of the story, reviewers likes or dislikes are meaningless unless you like them too, but it's not proof the reviewers choice is the better one. And definitely not something to use as a club in an attempt to prove a point.
Pictures above of the two combatants.
Like I say it winds up boiling down to one's individual tastes - that said most people don't just go by individual tastes - if they did there would be no review magazines and no one bothering to do measurements or to use them as clubs.
Subconsciously or not people read reviews and they read measurements, thus all those readers are putting stock into the reviewer opinions and/or measurements.
Not everyone but enough of them to keep the magazines in business.
Hence why we fall back to the clubs. Defensive clubs more than offensive ones I might add. I don't use the club to tell you you should buy X but to say that well a lot of other people like X - it's okay to admit that X is a fine product but that X is simply not your cup of tea.
I don't see why certain people can't accept that. It's not even to the level they are admitting they are wrong. Brussels Sprouts are hugely healthy and I can't stand them. But I am not going to go on forums and tell people they are wrong to like this vegetable. Now if someone tries to tell me that Brussels Sprouts tastes better than hand made Belgium chocolate well then we start to enter this same argument with reviews and graphs and statistics and sales etc.
Lastly, when picking apart an argument - the arguments picking apart the initial thesis can also be picked apart for their quality of rebuttal.
I am not one that just thinks everything is equal and it's all a matter of taste mind you - which is why I engage in these debates. Back in the middle 1990s I would argue Brand A and B are better than C - and we fast forward to today and I wouldn't touch brand A and B with a 50 foot pole. Part of this changes with time and the more I audition. What I once thought sounded good only sounded good against limited options. When more serious contenders enter the field perhaps you will like something three years from now and you will say to yourself wow how did I like Infinity or Sony. That applies to me too. We don't know what future experiences have in store for us.
You're other problem, you assume to much. You're assuming I haven't heard much better speakers, or owned much better speakers. Assuming might be the wrong word, selective reading, poor comprehensive reading skills, whatever the reason only you know.
The above speakers are obviously only examples of similar sized speakers for reference, I said as much, would you rather I choose other examples? Much more expensive examples? Would it make any difference with you?
As for your "assumption" the Sonys might have just been long in the tooth for me in comparison to the Infinitys and this somehow biased my opinion, the Sonys were the much more recent purchase, albeit some two decades ago, and long since gifted to my nephew.
Keep on digging that hole.
"You're assuming I haven't heard much better speakers, or owned much better speakers."
I assumed no such thing. You are making the mistake of projecting what you think I am saying when I have said no such thing. No one person can hear every product on the market nor can they hear them all in ideal circumstances - Audio Shows are TERRIBLE places to evaluate the sound of audio equipment and yet most people including reviewers base much of their opinions on show results.
Dealers can be much better but then it depends on the dealer.
What I mean by experience is that in the future you may hear something you have never heard before. And the "new" item may very well displace what you like now.
It doesn't matter if you have heard 5 speakers or 500. The new to you speaker may still make you rethink your speakers.
I have just reviewed an $800 push pull amp that made me rethink what can be done with relatively inexpensive amps and from push pull.
You never know what can come along and surprise you.
My latest surprise and review is the little KingKo amp
"When more serious contenders enter the field" perhaps you will like something three years from now and you will say to yourself wow how did I like "Infinity or Sony".
Your words are they not? As I said, you assume I haven't heard or owned "more serious contenders".
No sense conversing with someone that denies their own words, do you even read what you post?
If you get off your high horse you might actually have something worth saying, until then I'm moving on.
I am not a mind reader.
This is what you wrote "But this little speaker is from the lowly RS line."
I looked it up - it's around 30 years old and you called it lowly. They use push pin clip speaker connectors and go for around $125-$150. Infinity as a brand isn't the same as it was either.
If that's all you're taking away from my posts then you are certainly just choosing to troll since these two speakers aren't even the main point.
I'm not put out if you put me on your ignore list.
You didn't list a speaker. You listed a measurement. Which looks like a sub (SMALL) satellite type.
The MBL is one system - you don't buy it in pieces like a Sub Satellite - I could buy a $5,000 Genesis subwoofer for my KEF LS-50 and get sparkling measured performance. The KEF LS-50 offers sparkling measured performance within its range. Adding two of the best subwoofers money can buy could match the bass performance of anything (in terms of measurements).
Wilso Watt Puppy is similar to the Gershman X1 Sub one or even the LS-3/5a and their subwoofer (AB1) (well bass anyway) module they put underneath the standmount. I'm not sure they count as sub satellites.
I mean if you look around how many floorstanding speakers on the market today have a tweeter and then a 6 inch or 8 inch woofer under them and then a bigger woofer or two under that. The B&W N801 may as well be called a sub satellite.
The only difference is that one is modular and the other is not. So basically all three way speakers are sub satellites by this rationale. One is physically attached to the sub cabinet and one is not. But the bass driver in the three way is essentially there to serve as a subwoofer (or deepish bass anyway).
But then are they actually serving as true subwoofers? Can you just buy the Puppy or the Gershman sub1 or the AB 1 for the LS-35a and hook it up to all speakers on the market? Do you just buy the MBL subwoofer portion of their flagship speaker and connect it to Infinity Beta RS?
The sub satellites I am referring to are the 99.99% of the sub satellites where someone buys a 2 way standmount and then buys a subwoofer of varying size and often not from the same manufacturer.
The KEF LS-50 is a mini-monitor or standmount loudspeaker. If I buy a subwoofer is it your contention that the LS-50 should be called a Satellite?
If so that's okay I will concede the point because it's not like it matters. If I buy a B&W N801 and then add a sub the B&W can be called a Satellite too if you like.
So now we're getting to the nitty gritty. What you don't like are sub sat setups that aren't designed as a system. I'll assume that list would also include designer systems such as the Bose life style et al?
And now you're stating the KEFs would benefit from the addition of a pair of quality subs? In essence making them a non matching sub/sat setup? Or is it your contention it's only a sub/sat setup if the manufacturer claims it as such?
My point, you dismissed an alarming number of outstanding speakers as if they were beneath you, speakers that will flat out spank your beloved KEFs into next week.
As for the specs I gave you, when was the last time a magazine reviewed a non matching sub/sat setup as a whole system? And if so, if it had specs setting the standards for others to follow, count me in as someone interested enough to check them out.
I find it curious you never bothered to ask what the speakers are, you just decided to dismiss them even though they met the criteria you set forth in your past challenge. De Nile is not just a river in Egypt.
First let me clear - my KEF's are not beloved. I don't love electronics or "things"
The Bose lifestyle I believe are advertised as sub satellite - if you can call it a sub.
I am not stating the KEF would benefit from a sub. The measurements would benefit from the use of a sub because you would be adding at least two octaves to the resulting sound. Dedicated subwoofers of high quality can measures quite well. And the KEF LS050 is for practical purposes the center section of the KEF Blade $32,000 floorstander.
As I said I am not going to argue the words you wish to use. In a sense the KEF Blade is a glorified KEF LS-50 with a giant bass/subwoofer unit attached to it as you can see in the link below.
It's basically the same but different looking Wilson Watt/Puppy.
But the Watt/Puppy is and the KEF Blade and the MBLs are NOT the speakers I am referring to when using the sub/satellite term. Sub Satellites for all the years I have been in this hobby and using the term mean small standmount speakers and a big cube box that sits on the floor. Like the picture above. Generally if the front speaker can't survive on its own it is not really a standmount loudspeaker. A Will Watt can survive without the Puppy. So can the LS-3/5a.
Using MBL as an example - a person can buy the MBL Radialstrahler mbl 120 standmount and NEVER buy a subwoofer for it and live quite fine. It will cover most of the frequency response on most music. I call it a standmount speaker - if you want to call it a satellite that's fine - I think we're talking about the same things using different words to make the points.
You should be in politics the way you dance around an issue. And wow, you still haven't asked about the speakers, absolutely close minded to anything anyone else might think. Ya, it's all about you.
The SIZE of the cabinets have absolutely nothing to do with whether it's a sub/sat setup.
And by your own words the only difference between a sub/sat setup and a more conventional one box design is the fact the bass driver doesn't share the same enclosure as the other high frequency drivers. Thus the vibrational energy from the bass driver doesn't interact nearly as much with other drivers, seems like a good thing to me, and I think the late great Arnie Nudell would agree lol.
SQ isn't the determining factor for why most speaker systems come in a single enclosure, it's the cost of manufacturing.
"And wow, you still haven't asked about the speakers."
Sorry I don't understand what you are asking. I asked people to list speakers that are considered the "most accurate" and you gave me a response plot. Instead of answering the question you want me to ask the question a second time. Is there a reason for that. You need the attention?
And then you get angry that I don't re-ask the question.
As I have now said for a third time - if you want to call ANY stereo a sub satellite system because you bought a subwoofer that is fine by me. I have been at this since 1987 and I've reviewed owned and auditioned a LOT of stereos and owned a nicely rated BA sub in the 1990s and I've never liked systems with subwoofers. The exception is when the subs (two) sit underneath the main speakers - like the Watt/Puppy.
So perhaps I am fine with SubS (plural)/Satellite not Sub(singular)/Satellite.
I am not saying you are wrong - when you say stuff on a forum that someone else is close minded to what you think how so? I am saying what I like and what I don't like in general terms. It's based on all the systems I have heard over the years. If someone presents me a system where there is a sub and it sounds good to me then fine - but it hasn't happened yet. I like em fine for movies and car explosions mind you.
But I have tried SUb Satellite from all sorts of brands over the years from KEF, B&W, Infinity, M&K, Paradigm, ELAC, Martin Logan, Dynaudio, McIntosh (the subs were not McIntosh I don't think), PSB, Pioneer and even with panels like Magnepan 1.7s.
I'm not saying I am right - I am stating that none of them have done it for me. But I will be covering the show in California next month and perhaps someone will set-up a system with one sub that impresses me. I always keep an open mind - it's why I continuously listen to gear that in the past I have not much cared for - in the hopes that the next time it will excite me.
No. I can't hear everything. Companies are free to contact my editor and request reviews for their speakers and I'm happy to try any subwoofer they wish to send me. If they are supremely confident in their product and that it will impress even perhaps stubborn reviewers then by all means.
I am a bit older school so the subs that I have experience with tend to be the bigger mainstream brands like Paradigm, Velodyne, M&K, B&W, and REL.
I was tempted by a complete M&K surround sound system as I did like their X series sub and their small on wall speakers pack some oomph. But I would pretty much have to recreate the entire room for it. I am still drawn the idea and may go down the path eventually.
You know what you like. I had a M&K sub that I only used for HT.
The Rythmic stomps it and work for music and movies. On rock music the drum kit is in the room.
Didn't you know? Subs are worthless.
Again, you should run for office.
I've owned many subs, not what this is about, it's about "your challenge".
You mention requesting a list of the top five measuring speaks with measurements included and claim "no one responded". I give you measurements and you don't want to know what they are, you dismiss them without any knowledge of what they are, this is the definition of close minded.
No sense beating my head against this thick wall any longer.
Next time you set out a challenge make sure you make it clear you don't "really" want any responses, you just want to keep on believing your right.
Started out NAD 3020 and a pair of 12 in 3 way Cerwin Vegas. A little bright, but they rocked out Carry on my Wayward Son.
Then Maggie SMGa with sub and a Crown DC 300. Never could rock. Great jazz, Floyd and vocals.
Keepers so far - ProAc Studio 3, a ProAc/ATC collaboration of sorts driven by a Cary CAD 200 with a Rythmic F12 sub. No ghostly Maggie imaging, but it does all music well and rocks on rock and orchestra.
Different approaches to similar objective compared to your AN system. You Shook me all Night Long is a great "can it rock" system test. Try "Carry on" some time.
Great post. It's great to see someone with patience take the time to listen and use their OWN ears to buy gear.
I've also found numbers mean almost nothing. You could make a vintage Fisher pictured below look good on paper.
I've often read reviews and once in a while I was lucky enough to hear that piece locally. this is why I no longer bother reading reviews.
To be fair though a review can really only review the given piece in his own system and room. I have liked a speaker in my system then someone blasts me for liking a speaker but then I see their room and what they ran it with and it's not terribly difficult to know why it didn't work in that room/set up.
I have heard my own speakers (or variants of) sound rather poor in other systems and rooms and sound much better - heck in the same room but with different amplifiers (even from the same company). There are a lot of variables.
My personal preference for reviewing would be to review complete systems like an all AN system, all Pass Labs system, all Rega, Linn, Roksan etc. Then at least you know what the company is about in terms of sonic aesthetic.
Thank you for this spot on description of your experiences. Well written
Many years ago I watched a friend design speakers(that I liked a lot) on a computer. I asked how close the computer design turned out to his final fine tuning by ear and he replied 95% meaning he could have stopped with just the computer design.
The main factor he looked at was the transfer function of each driver and its crossover(remember a box design is a high pass filter). And he was looking for basically flat response but with roll off that minimized ringing in the crossover/driver combo, both high pass and low pass.
This disconnect between subjective impressions and objective measurements seems to recur at regular intervals, particularly in relation to high-sensitivity horn speakers and particularly with certain reviewers who seem to value the dynamic "jump factor" inherent in such designs far above accurate frequency response, phase coherence, wide dispersion, lack of resonant colorations, etc.
And there is something to be said for this. I've heard several Klipsch, JBL, Cerwin Vega, etc. high-sensitivity speakers over the years, and while I doubt if I could live with them for the long term (too fatiguing), they are definitely FUN! Few "normal" dynamic speakers, with sensitivity around 84dB, 2.83V at 1 meter, can match them for lightning transient response or sheer "lifelike" liveliness. AND you can drive them to ear-splitting levels with the sort of flea-powered, poorly damped, high 2nd harmonic distortion SET amplifiers these same reviewers seem to favor, which add their own wacky-woo to the already awful frequency response due to their inability to drive a variable impedance. Inaccuracy piled on inaccuracy, coloration on coloration. Sonic heaven for some, especially in a horribly boomy untreated room with antique analog source components (78 RPM, anyone?).
These reviewers are quite upfront about their sonic preferences and prejudices, so it is possible to take much of what they say with an appropriately sized grain of salt.
BUT they are definitely on to something as far as dynamics. If you take live unamplified acoustic music as your reference, most conventional speakers seem to lack the speed and "kick" of the real thing. High sensitivity horns just plain GET it, at both the micro- and macrodynamic levels.
I have the JBL M2 complemented with the JBL Sub18 driven by three Crown stereo amps(6 x 1250 watts) with DSP incorporated for active crossover. I can testify that with a really good high rez source (pure DSD) with really good high dynamics in the mastering, the listening result is jaw dropping almost beyond words. Truly state of the art.
The only time I have really heard horn speakers is at an audio show (THE "Newport"/Irvine, two years in a row)..
But I have had a reasonably (but not completely) consistent experience: I now avoid almost all rooms with horn or single-driver speakers. My first judgement is on accurate timbre, in particular, acoustic classical where I have an absolute reference. (And in one of the shows there was a string trio playing in the entry floor). It sounds too obviously wrong too often with those sorts of speakers.
There was one large (literally) exception, of course: JBL M2. Stunning dynamic range and literally calibrated studio accuracy. It needs to be integrated in a multi-amplified DSP'ed system I think.
I found that the dynamic range was almost 'too much', as if the contrast adjustment on a display/photoshop was turned on a bit too far, almost overemphasizing it. I liked the Revel Ultima Salon 2's nearby a bit more for classical music, though the JBL would be perfect for a large film screening room.
I guess in some way I agree with you. I don't think it's dynamic range but a term I 1st heard over 40 years from Bud Fried(IMF and Fried speakers) - dynamic linearity which basically means lack of compression with increased loudness. Interestingly this seems to be a factor that passes the out of room test like live sound does.
Cant agree "horns alone get it " as 95% of the ones i have heard don't , the ones that do are usually attached to an SET amplfier
SET and a good Horn speaker, can be special ....
Square wave response?
The quasi-anechoic frequency response of the O/96 looks right on. There was a panel resonance which was audible in some, but not all kinds of music.
Volti Rival looks like crap.
I suggest you get hold of a copy of Audio Magazine for November 1986. As I recall, the measurements of the Klipschorn done by Richard C. Heyser were pretty good. I have the issue somewhere but it would be a lot of trouble to find it right now.
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser
the anechoic measurements is not too bad
but why do he ask freaking 10k for this. they should be 5k, not freaking 10k. they sound good, but not 10k good.
Thanks for pointing that out. I guess by the 80s, reviews weren't so measurement-driven.
Then, I wish we had more horn reviews w/ measurements. When they do one, it's in columns which don't have tests (like Sam Tellig or Art Dudley).
I have said this many time as an electrical engineer and recording engineer, measurements are usually needed for design purposes but they tell the consumer almost nothing of what a product will sound like.
Fully agree. But there are always people who say a speaker "can't sound good" if tests show it. They HAVE to measure up.
Like the Wilson Alexx review, posted on Stereophile not too long ago. There's someone right there stating that the speaker is more "carpentry than speaker" due to JA's tests.
It has only been fairly recently that consumers have easy access to a good set of speaker measurements such as the old Audio magazine, Stereophile and Soundstage present. I would not bother to seek out a speaker I thought measured badly, though I might listen to one if I came across one. I use measurements as a screening tool. If you don't like it, use some other method. One thing I can say is I don't change speakers very often.
Before somebody jumps on this, I will add that I audition speakers extensively with a variety of program material. The ones that measure really well have always sounded good.
I should also point out that good and bad are ends of a spectrum, both for measurements and sudition results.
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser
Measurements tells you everything except listener Bias ....
Can you explain what you mean by "everything" and "listening bias" please?
"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein
Can you explain what you mean by "everything" and "listening bias" please?
Thd/IMD measurements alone wont tell us "everything" about the sound of a speaker , with some experience from modeling and actually building with similar drivers one can take a stab at it , but you would be hard pressed to say who would or would not like them , mostly Due to listener Bias, listener experience and demands ..
Some listeners are sensitive to thd , some not , Tone and timbre means different things to different listeners , same for live and dynamic, the best the designer can do is identify "camps" then adjust ( the art) accordingly, This is applicable to amps, pre-amps, Speakers and the genie of tone control , tone and timbre , cables ...!
RGA view the coloration of his AN speakers as music , the owners of maggies view AN speakers as having boxy colorations , some hear dynamics where others frown..
Listener Bias .. One man's anathema is anothers euphoria ...
Horns are riding high again , what has changed ..? Nothing, they died due to the mass marketing of audio did not accomodate them , they are back because said mass market is now defunct and the miniscule audiophile community is going full circle ..
Follow Dr F Tooles pronouncements?
He maintains that ...Only.. an anechoic 'Spinnerama' measurement Works! at predicting/giving reliable correlations to reliable listener result.
Hey ! he invented it.. so there's obviously Some bias.
That said:.. No One.. has done more credible work in studying and prediction what will sound good to a Listener.
As is there is No better source on the subject.. so far.
Magazine hacks, Reviewers are largely inept ego strokers.
Other wise they would be Doing rather than reviewing :-)
White noise claims.. at best
I am unclear what you mean by doing rather than reviewing?
I think magazines do try in their own ways to verify things. SOme are better able to do it than others but Soundstage and Stereophile measure and Hi-Fi Choice does conduct blind level matched tests and have many listeners come through. Albeit inconsistently.
This industry isn't big enough to do it all properly like car crash tests from independent bodies.
Let's say for instance you have a level matched blind audition where all the people vote for a 10 watt tube amplifier against many SS amplifiers that all measure better (as has happened). Further the amp maker that won the test insists his speakers sound the best with this particular amplifier. Well that point can be conceded since all the blind listeners did choose that amplifier.
Then you flip over to the Harman speaker tester test where they test a bunch of speakers with...drum roll... a 500 watt SS amplifier with massive damping factor. Basically an amplifier that likely loses in the previous test - but for the speaker test it is a "fair" amplifier in the sense that it has enough power to drive ALL the speakers being tested.
They they conduct the tests. And choose some speaker as best. It seems to me there is a fairly easy to see problem with this if speaker C had it been connected to the amp in the previous blind session that was chosen as best sounding - may very well sound a lot better than when it is connected to a 500 watt SS amp that overdrives the speaker. UHF noted this decades back with a Bryston amplifier that they felt pinched their speakers as if over-controlling them.
At that time I had the amplifier on my horn speakers and felt the same thing. I don't have the technical knowledge to explain it but it's as if the bass was "overly tight and taught" It was certainly a lot different than the other 125 watt amp I was running. Back then I was an all SS is the same except for the numbers kind of guy. The Bryston is what got me interested in high end audio.
Personally, I'd like to see an all Linn system versus and all Rega system versus all Roksan at around the same money. The $5k challenge or something.
"I am unclear what you mean by doing rather than reviewing"
Going out on a limb here, but I believe he means "those that can, do, those that can't, teach (review).
I usually say those who can teach, teach. And those who can't teach, do something else.
That's not the cliché.
The reality is this:
"Those who can, do. Those who can teach, do more."
Shall I cite examples? Ok:
Steve Wiest, trombone
Doc Severinsen, trumpet & life
Maynard Ferguson, trumpet
Roger Salander, clarinet
Roger Ingram, trumpet
Wayne Bergeron, trumpet
Eric Miyashiro, trumpet
Maurice Gabai, clarinet
Mstilav Rostropovich, cello
Denis DiBlasio, bari sax & flute
Need I go on?
All of these top artists/virtuosos do a wonderful job of teaching as well as playing.
In addition, I've played with several excellent musicians who chose a teaching career, and play their instrument just for fun.
Measurements tell you SOMETHING about a speaker, but they do not tell you how the speaker will sound. Designing / building a speaker would be pretty hopeless if you couldn't make some measurements and use them to refine your design. But, in the end, a speaker can measure pretty well and still not sound 'right.' Then, too, there is personal taste. And how the speaker will interact with various amplifiers- speakers - especially multi-way designs- have complex impedances and this will cause some interaction with any amplifier, but especially with tube amplifiers and super-especially with tube amps with low / no negative feedback.
The Stereophile tests are a good thing, they help a prospective buyer evaluate the engineering of the product. But only listening tells you if you like the speaker or not, because a lot of the speaker's acoustic behavior is not measured by those Stereophile tests. For example, they don't do any distortion tests. Harmonic and non-harmonic distortions are prevalent in speakers and impact the sound. Also, there's a lot of time-domain testing that can be done such as tone-burst tests, group delay and so on- all of which tell you something about the sound.
But even if all of this additional data were presented, you would have to have very broad experience and deep knowledge to synthesize all these different, subtle factors to form an understanding of how a given speaker sounds, and even then your understanding would be incomplete until you actually listened to the thing.
The tests Stereophile publishes give you clues about some of the speaker's characteristics, but they don't tell you much about the sound and they certainly don't tell you if you will like or dislike the sound.
By analyzing the tests, you can sometimes infer what the designers were shooting for, what they thought was sonically important, etc. That can be useful.
Yes, the measurements may not make the final choice, but the speakers that seem to me to measure very well also sound very good to me, at least the ones I have heard.
On the other hand, the speakers that measure badly will sound bad on some of the music I listen to. Sounds good with big bands does not necessarily sound good with orchestra, voice, chorus, piano, and so on. But there is, of course, a middle ground of speakers whose flaws don't show up in some kinds of music, but do with other kinds of music.
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser
Thanks for your input. I guess it's worse than I thought, with consumer magazines.
But let's not forget why they're there: make the (dominant) idea look as good as they can. If a cone-speaker was decided by insiders to be The Big Thing -then most promoting, show reports, class-A rated products, will be this type. Skip the waveguide and horn (2 distinct types). But if you review one, don't measure it right.
That said, a tester can't cover-up everything. Look at the phase and electrical impedance of many cones -TERRIBLE. Then deviations from linearity, if you can find a chart, will show serious deviations at 95db, as volume increases.
It's revelations like these that guided me to the horn. Along with their performance, of course.
I agree with this. Thanks.
For once we agree - listener bias is a deciding factor as plenty of people like panels and don't hear their issues as do HE horn and or AN owners. Mostly it is about what the ear gravitates to. And also to be fair under what conditions one hears the speakers. I can listen to a speaker at a show or a dealer and get one impression that may run counter to what one can achieve at home or at a better dealer or better show room.
I am somewhat lucky that my main dealer is Soundhounds in Victoria simply because I can listen to Harbeth/Audio Note/Devore in this sort of "camp" of loudspeakers to mainstream good measuring stuff (Dynaudio, KEF, Paradigm, B&W, Harman's JBL) to Sonus Faber and Meridian and all of it on flagship Classe, Bryston, Sim Audio, Meridian SS power. And then listen to the top of the line panels - Quad, Magnepan, Finale Sound to second hand Apogees (when they're there).
You can then choose the colouration you like best. I like the panel fanatics because at the very least they are fanatic. They are at least hugely passionate about the sound - as are HE guys.
Gotta love your Irony ..... :)
Yup. Back in the day, horn makers had other markets -cinema, live venue, recording studio. But they still made cone-speakers for the masses.
Besides a lack of new horn companies in the 70s, the use of transistor-amps hurt as well. Since horns were so revealing of early transistor sound. (Unless the horn fan scooped-up a tube amp from the 60s).
Then, the ESL. Audiophiles had another choice by the 70s -when ESLs came down in price and improved their durability problems.
I'm still surprised, though. To use an ESL, you had to use a high-powered/harsh sounding transistor amp. But audiophiles made their choice, only to back-away from ESLs (eventually).
J. Gordon Holt thought the Servo-Statik was 'best ever' in 1968. By the mid 80s, he was using studio monitors (waveguide-horn type). His reference speaker for the rest of his life.
I was able to get rather amazingly good sound from ESL with SET amps in a modest sized room. Far better than the same ESLs with the usual suspects of SS amps...
...and that may be a big assumption, but aren't harmonic distortion measurements done at a single, constant-amplitude frequency? And aren't intermodulation distortion measurements done with 2 constant-amplitude frequencies? This is a far cry from the complexity of music, even accepting that listener bias is another complicating factor.
Good points. How about 1 watt input or 1/3 octave smoothing (low-rez, probably not used anymore).
Its seriously complex , measuring vs what we percieve , in reality we can measure quite a bit, thd/IMD won't tell us everything , even with a perfect Transfer function we cant overcome listener biases ..
Audio is science , music is art , it's a conundrum .....
Good audio is art
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