Buyer Beware: The Non-Recommendation Speaker Thread (Snake Oil Welcome)

jliedeka

jliedeka

Audioholic General
I would buy a set of speakers that is proven to be good, and sounds how I like it. Specs and sound isn't the only thing going on. Not everyone knows what they are hearing, and not everyone knows what they should be hearing. It takes time to figure out what is right and wrong, and it is also opinion. I have my preference, and if I can achieve that preference without having to deal with a brand like Definitive, I will.

SheepStar
I think buying speakers is probably the hardest thing to do in the sense that there are so many variables. The way speakers will sound depends on the qualities of the speakers themselves plus your room and upstream electronics and placement. You wouldn't want to drive really revealing speakers with poor quality sources. A perfectly neutral speaker (if such exists) may not sound good in a particular room.

I've been researching speakers continuously for several months now and I'm still not sure what I want. I can say that since I upgraded my receiver, my low end speakers sound better than they ever have. (That's good because I don't have any money for speakers now.) Part of that may also be that I changed the positioning and made some changes to my room.

On the spectrum between the purely subjectivist point of view and the objectivist POV, I'm in the middle but closer to the objectivist side. I believe that measurements will never give you the whole story and the final test is how things sound but I believe you can narrow down your choices by looking at trustworthy measurements. I'm thinking the NRC measurements from SoundStage and the ones in Stereophile.

Jim
 
furrycute

furrycute

Banned
Unlike the legions of av123 and SVS shills here, my day job is not pretend to be satisfied customers of av123 and SVS products and post red hot reviews of those two companies' products.

I have a real day job, and it is not in shill advertising.



Obviously your attempt at comedy means you have to keep your day job...
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
I think buying speakers is probably the hardest thing to do in the sense that there are so many variables. The way speakers will sound depends on the qualities of the speakers themselves plus your room and upstream electronics and placement. You wouldn't want to drive really revealing speakers with poor quality sources. A perfectly neutral speaker (if such exists) may not sound good in a particular room.

I've been researching speakers continuously for several months now and I'm still not sure what I want. I can say that since I upgraded my receiver, my low end speakers sound better than they ever have. (That's good because I don't have any money for speakers now.) Part of that may also be that I changed the positioning and made some changes to my room.

On the spectrum between the purely subjectivist point of view and the objectivist POV, I'm in the middle but closer to the objectivist side. I believe that measurements will never give you the whole story and the final test is how things sound but I believe you can narrow down your choices by looking at trustworthy measurements. I'm thinking the NRC measurements from SoundStage and the ones in Stereophile.

Jim
Another part of it could just be you... a, BIG, part of it.

You find your preference by listening to speakers, but you find what your preference IS by measuring loudspeakers. It's the only way to accurately compare. The problem is, most speakers do not have enough measurements to tell the whole story, and, most speakers don't have reliable measurements.

SheepStar
 
WmAx

WmAx

Audioholic Samurai
I think buying speakers is probably the hardest thing to do in the sense that there are so many variables. The way speakers will sound depends on the qualities of the speakers themselves plus your room and upstream electronics and placement. You wouldn't want to drive really revealing speakers with poor quality sources. A perfectly neutral speaker (if such exists) may not sound good in a particular room.
It's easy to get transparent electronics - and cheaply. Want an amp to drive a speaker with ridiculously low impedance and/or extreme electrical phase angles? Get a pro amp.

Most CD players are transparent - this is supported by measurements as they relate to human audibililty; via perceptual research and in practical blinded level matched ABX tests that have been performed on so many people up to this point, with no one yet proving a non-measurable difference exists, nor one that is not known to be covered by the existing perceptual research. The same holds true for amplifiers used within their intended parameters. The only differences are found to be real when a device is not used within it's intended parameters and/or it's just a poor design(designed to purposely or through pure ignorance, alter frequency response or add huge amounts of distortion harmonics).
I've been researching speakers continuously for several months now and I'm still not sure what I want. I can say that since I upgraded my receiver, my low end speakers sound better than they ever have. (That's good because I don't have any money for speakers now.) Part of that may also be that I changed the positioning and made some changes to my room.
I can offer advice, if you are interested, in achieving hi-fi sound for low-fi cost; all based on the relevant measured behaviors vs. the credible perceptual research. PM me if you are interested.

On the spectrum between the purely subjectivist point of view and the objectivist POV, I'm in the middle but closer to the objectivist side. I believe that measurements will never give you the whole story and the final test is how things sound but I believe you can narrow down your choices by looking at trustworthy measurements. I'm thinking the NRC measurements from SoundStage and the ones in Stereophile.
Measurements do cover pretty much the whole story - if the proper ones are made and under the right conditions. At one time, I used to think the same thing(that there was something that measurement missed). However, after years of studying the perceptual research and doing my own controlled blind tests and applying this knowledge to speaker design - I can tell you there is no mystery. No secret. It all comes down to having the appropriate knowledge and knowing what measurements are needed, under what conditions and how to interpret them vs. human perception as defined by the perceptual research. Now, can the average audio enthusiast be expected to know these things? Of course not. Heck, not even the average speaker designer seems to know these things in sufficient detail - I suppose most are too lazy to actually study and apply the relevant perceptual research?

-Chris
 
Matt34

Matt34

Moderator
Unlike the legions of av123 and SVS shills here, my day job is not pretend to be satisfied customers of av123 and SVS products and post red hot reviews of those two companies' products.

I have a real day job, and it is not in shill advertising.

Have a fun time out, I've warned you a few times about this BS.....it's beyond old.
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Have a fun time out, I've warned you a few times about this BS.....it's beyond old.
Matt, have I ever told you you're my favorite mod? Know what could make you even better? Banning him.

SheepStar
 
J

just listening

Audioholic
I've been hooked on audio for 30+ years, and have attended various audio events both commercial and at the hobby level. I've come to believe the following things:

1. Measurements are like a festival seating ticket, they'll get you into the event but where you finally sit is up to you. I've owned speakers that independently measured awesome but in my rig (many choices), in my listening space, and my taste in music they just don't ring my bell.

2. EVERYBODY DOES HEAR DIFFERENTLY- People have different shaped ears, and they are designed to collect sound and channel it into the canal. Because of the different shapes some of the sound coming in has been gathered in a unique way. Just as different shaped and sized listening rooms affect sound so will your ears.

I was lucky enough to attend an audio gathering while on a business trip recently. The organizers thought it would be fun to play the same song over and over using one rig, but several sets of speakers all were considered to be of quality. It was fascinating to watch as some were entranced, other ok, and a final group fidgety and uncomfortable. With each speaker the various groupings changed.

3. Synergy is real- Measurements will not tell with any overwhelming accuracy how well a speaker, or any component will work in combination with other pieces in your rig. Recently, I was in the market for a cd player, and was quite curious with a $1500 unit that had been getting rave reviews. I brought it home for a test drive as the store was closed for the next 3 days and the demo wouldn't be missed. In my game room system, it was just as advertised, a terrific piece of gear. When I put it in my family room rig, it wasn't a good match. (For those of you who are asking, game room is $8500, family room $10K). No amount of measurements could have predicted that result.

Just my .02 cents.

P.S. my apologies for bringing back an old thread, but I found it quite interesting.
 
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S

spl_nut

Enthusiast
Most CD players are transparent - this is supported by measurements as they relate to human audibililty; via perceptual research and in practical blinded level matched ABX tests that have been performed on so many people up to this point, with no one yet proving a non-measurable difference exists, nor one that is not known to be covered by the existing perceptual research. [/I]).
I'm going to pull an MLS and reserve this spot for my future reaction (Posting my reaction now would likely get me banned.).

I will say, you sir, have read way too much, and have listened way too little.
 
lsiberian

lsiberian

Audioholic Overlord
I'm going to pull an MLS and reserve this spot for my future reaction (Posting my reaction now would likely get me banned.).

I will say, you sir, have read way too much, and have listened way too little.
I will say, you sir, have no idea who you are arguing with. Wmax knows what he's talking about. Applying even a little of what he says will greatly improve a system. Coming in here with few posts to your name and little credentials then choosing to argue with one of our greatest and most knowledgeable contributors is insane. There are only a handful of people in this hobby I've run into with the depth of knowledge Wmax has. Not only that you attack a thread that is ancient history.

I suggest you read and learn before jumping to conclusions based on your experience. Experience is only one source of knowledge.
 
WmAx

WmAx

Audioholic Samurai
I'm going to pull an MLS and reserve this spot for my future reaction (Posting my reaction now would likely get me banned.).

I will say, you sir, have read way too much, and have listened way too little.
If you have credible data to the contrary please provide such information.

Your implication that I do not know what high quality sound reproduction 'sounds' like is rather silly. Most so-called high end systems that cost several tens of thousands of dollars are no where near my required standards for sound quality. Money is almost always wasted, being poured into the wrong parts/hardware, and even when spent on the right parts, not done so with proper founding knowledge. Even then, it is rare that the room acoustics are addressed properly. To assume the average CD player has any significant effect[coloration] here is not logical. There is no credible evidence to support such assumption(s) at this point.

-Chris
 
mathesar

mathesar

Audiophyte
I stumbled upon this thread searching for info on these speakers.

I bought a pair of Divinci DV-607 tower speakers for $20 thinking they might sound better than my much smaller Onkyo bookshelf speakers that came with my 7.1 Onkyo receiver, but I was wrong, Very wrong. the Divinci's have very poor sound quality and zero bass response. Steer clear, not even worth it for free. I feel sorry for those that got ripped off.

 
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3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Speaker cables, interconnects and Bose are by far the slipperiest of all of these snake oils. This and HiFI reviewers whose keen sense of memory recalls excalty how a speaker that he reviewed 2 years ago in comparing loudspeakers.
 
S

swspiers

Audioholic
If you have credible data to the contrary please provide such information.

Your implication that I do not know what high quality sound reproduction 'sounds' like is rather silly. Most so-called high end systems that cost several tens of thousands of dollars are no where near my required standards for sound quality. Money is almost always wasted, being poured into the wrong parts/hardware, and even when spent on the right parts, not done so with proper founding knowledge. Even then, it is rare that the room acoustics are addressed properly. To assume the average CD player has any significant effect[coloration] here is not logical. There is no credible evidence to support such assumption(s) at this point.

-Chris
WmAx- not sure I'm clear on your statement about CD players. Are you stating that there is no measurable/audible difference between the DAC's, Opamps etc. that are used? Or that the transports themselves are neutral?

Perhaps this belongs on another thread...
 
WmAx

WmAx

Audioholic Samurai
WmAx- not sure I'm clear on your statement about CD players. Are you stating that there is no measurable/audible difference between the DAC's, Opamps etc. that are used? Or that the transports themselves are neutral?

Perhaps this belongs on another thread...
What I am saying, is that the ONLY difference in most devices is MEASURABLE difference. This is entirely different from audible difference. The measured differences are almost always not significant enough to be within the threshold of human detectability.

There are some players that have audible differences. These are usually extremely poor designs with high noise or very poor or non-existent anti-alias filters(some rare audiophile products actually leave out the critical anti-alias filter form the DAC).

-Chris
 
F

FirstReflection

AV Rant Co-Host
Wow, it took until page 6 for someone to "officially" add Bose to the list?! :eek:

lol

Anyway, I'm with Sheep when it comes to Def Tech - at least their bi-polar speakers and their subwoofer claims ;)

I'd also throw almost all of the "mega-buck" speakers that are out there on this list. $100,000+/pair speakers are purely just a game of trying to snag some ignorant rich person who is ONLY looking at the price tag and is so dumb that they assume price automatically equals performance. You don't need to go anywhere near those prices in order to get accurate sound. Especially not when your room is smaller than a full-sized commercial movie theater.
 
WmAx

WmAx

Audioholic Samurai
Wow, it took until page 6 for someone to "officially" add Bose to the list?! :eek:

lol

Anyway, I'm with Sheep when it comes to Def Tech - at least their bi-polar speakers and their subwoofer claims ;)

I'd also throw almost all of the "mega-buck" speakers that are out there on this list. $100,000+/pair speakers are purely just a game of trying to snag some ignorant rich person who is ONLY looking at the price tag and is so dumb that they assume price automatically equals performance. You don't need to go anywhere near those prices in order to get accurate sound. Especially not when your room is smaller than a full-sized commercial movie theater.
Exactly. The $14k/pair B&W 802D actually outperforms most of the speakers, regardless of cost. For near perfection in a monopolar speaker, the 802D is the real deal, and far far less than $100k. :) Add a powerful DSP EQ and you can get virtually any sound you want out of the incredibly neutral 802D.

The only megabuck speaker that I can think of, off hand, that actually exceeds the 802D, is the YG Acoustics line of speakers. YG Acoustics produces the most neutral commercially available loudspeaker in the world to my knowledge.

-Chris
 
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N

NicolasKL

Full Audioholic
Rofl, a tower that goes down to 120 Hz +/- 20%. I can't believe they even had the balls to put that on the label.
 

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