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RE: We must hear things differently :)

My opinion about building an optimum system for a given price does depend on one's sonic priorities and other factors. My opinion was, as you can see, also qualified by a minimum price. You cannot do it for a few thousand bucks.

We may disagree, but I think sonic differences as a function of price have steadily declined, meaning diminishing performance returns with price are even more significant than they once were. That goes for speakers, too, in my experience. Note that I did not say everything sounds alike, no matter what you spend. I am saying, above a certain price point, spending a whole lot more does not buy you as much incremental performance boost as it once did.

I also believe I could assemble a better sounding system than my current one at a lower price than I paid if I had to redo it over today, even disregarding inflation. But, given the mostly unrecoverable sunk cost I have in my current one, that is not likely to happen.

I respect and admire your Sound Labs speakers. I have heard them a number of times, including at the home of a recording engineer friend in a thoroughly treated room. That was a 5.0 configuration driven by a Meitner DAC in pure DSD mode. The sound was really outstandingly good, but the deep bass was just not there driven by 5 Parasound JC-1 monoblocks, and what was there was still quite ragged and dynamically limited. I felt no need to imitate his configuration. Mine more than held its own against that, as have other Mch systems I have heard.

I agree about issues of coherence. They can be caused by a lot of things. But, I do not think dispersion is one of them, since we cannot hear dispersion unless we have many more ears than two pointing at many more angles. But, specifically, coherence between dipoles and dynamic woofers or subwoofers in hybrid configuration is important. But, it is likely more a matter of crossover implementation and control of bass room interactions. That has improved substantially in the past decade or so.

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