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In Reply to: RE: Those darn measurements ! posted by morricab on June 26, 2017 at 07:30:53
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
Edits: 06/26/17Follow Ups:
"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.
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