Home Speaker Asylum

General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

RE: Hmm, that's surprising.

I also like checking out systems via YouTube, but it can be hard to judge the sound of a system that way because recording is an art and some people are much better than others at capturing the original sound. Fred Crane (AudioPrana/Stereodesk) is one of the people who seem to do a very good job of capturing the sound of a system in a room, where you can clearly hear strengths and weaknesses in the system, and even separate them from the sound of the room. In comparison, Peter Breuninger's videos are about as good as Forrest Gump fumbling with a 1990s VHS camcorder.

I've watched a bunch of different videos of the Boenicke W5 and the one that impressed me the most is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mDIcbPqTlc

In the above video, they sound well balanced. perhaps due to the unusual microphone placement well off-axis and close-up. None of the other W5 videos I've heard sound good.

The YouTube clip that you posted has a very obvious and distracting bass peak throughout, piano didn't sound good, the vocalist in the first bossa nova track and Sting sound hollow, the cello is devoid of any body, and the only part of it that sounded reasonably good to me is the acoustic guitar piece from about 17:00 to 18:30.

For comparison, here is another small speaker in the same room:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5R4Eplg1z4

There is still some room coloration there, but on the whole it sounds A LOT better to me. Fred also has a video of the expensive Kii 3 active speakers in the same room which sounds a lot better than the Boenicke W5.

I think the following video shows off the W5 bit better:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnav0ZHLex4

In that video you hear a lot more room coloration because the room is quite live, but the speakers seem better balanced. In particular, the bass peak is less pronounced. But the midrange is still weak and there is still a thin, hollow coloration.

One more video of the W5 from AudioPrana:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftuo2DGTLaI

That system sounds particularly bad to me, and if I was the owner, considering how much money is tied up in it, I would be very embarrassed.


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