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RE: From Sublime to Ridiculous


It's always good to get out PWK's opus Modulation Distortion In Loudspeakers for a re-read. For some reason I had assumed that the Bose 901 came some time after PWK's JAES 1968 paper, but some digging has revealed that the 901's appeared in 1968, and from the description under figure 3 of Pt.2 it seems obvious now that the 901's were the test subjects. It's surprising the degree to which this paper was ignored by the anti-horn Stereophile/TAS audio duopoly where shoe box sized speakers were praised for being "neutral" and "accurate", when AM and FM tests would have shown that they were anything but compared to the Klipschorn which didn't do the "sound stage" as well due to the horn drivers not being in phase. Awhile ago in a Stereophile editorial the author (Steve Gutenberg as I recall) seemed surprised that a live symphony orchestra didn't "image" that well from the cheaper seats compared to the primo seats he was used to getting as comps as a reviewer.

I think you misunderstand the seemingly high prices of some audio equipment because you are looking at the equipment as machines designed to do a specific job which is to play music. Beyond a certain point there are diminishing returns price wise with speakers, and you wind up in the realm of audiophile jewelry where the equipment becomes a place to store and display excess wealth. You wouldn't expect to eat a Faberge egg, nor would you expect to put one under a hen and have it hatch. Now I for one would rather listen to someone's $50,000 two ways than to look over their stock portfolio. And after attending many audio shows I wouldn't expect to walk away feeling envious.


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