Japanese speakers - why not

slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Thanks for that! I did not know that Technics was back in the game!
Looks like they are going after some of that LS50 love with this one (MSRP $1700/pr, 6.5"):

I heard those Technics BS a few years ago, the same year they were introduced, at the RMAF. Could likely find my comments on them back then on the forum here.

I was not overly impressed, and for the asking price, they are not worth a 2nd look/listen. I don't recall my exact gripe against them, other than "overpriced". Seems like they may have had a 2nd speaker in there (towers???) that sounded better to my ears.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Field Marshall
Back in the 70s...people used to say there was Japanese sound, west coast sound, east coast, British sound, etc. I do not know if it is still the same or if they have all melded together to a similar sound or not now.
I suspect you're right, at least to a point. For I remember those days well, having a pre-conceived notion that Japanese speakers had a 'nasal' signature, which was nonsense but never the less clouded my judgement.

there was also quite a few offerings from back then that were 'cheap', ie vinyl wrapped boxes, at a time when their receiver offerings had nice wood finished end caps
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Here we go.....Those Technics BS had too much sibilance to my ears:


when I went in the Technics room, the new towers were playing. They did sound good, but waaaaaay over priced (I think they were about $17K for the pair). I requested to hear the new BS speakers. They did sound good, but I also detected enough sibilance to take them off my list (even before I heard the $2K price tag).
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
yeah i can dig it why Yamahas speaker’s get no love? I’m guessing like how some don’t like Onkyo cause they look like Denon on the inside and they run hot. Come to think of it Denon from the back looks like a Onkyo AVR. :p;):p
You’re gonna get some heat for that jab, bro. :D
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Technics speakers
Nice! Appreciate the link to the review, thanks.

Okay this is a new one for me, quoted from the article.

On the SU-C700's remote control is a button mysteriously labeled LAPC. This stands for Load Adaptive Phase Calibration. According to Technics, LAPC is "a speaker impedance optimization algorithm, using digital signal processing to flatten both the amplitude and phase-frequency response to make the most of your speakers." As best I can tell, LAPC generates a test signal from an internal app that measures the signal amplitude vs load impedance and phase angle at the interface of amp and speakers. After measuring, the app makes corrections to linearize the frequency response.

I've never heard of or experienced such wizardry before. I don't even fully understand the explanation about how it's supposed to work. I have no idea what effect this "phase calibration" might have. To a layperson such as myself it reads like it's "cleaning the signal" or making it purer somehow. Or more likely it looks like what they describe is just their version of DEQ or way to color the sound like a tube amp would. That's of course followed up with the usual colorful language used by audiophiles to describe the difference.

I listened again and was completely surprised. Missing colors reappeared. The music got more chunky and funky. The sound had gone from great boogie but lean tonality to extraordinary forward momentum with more-than-satisfying musical presence. Corrected by LAPC, the SU-C700 became one of the more enjoyable integrateds I've auditioned.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Last year, Pioneer Corporation released their TAD Reference Series speakers. At the price which these are sold, around $80,000 a pair, I am sure they would sound better than any of the Wilson's:

View attachment 35720
Verdinut
Why do you think the $80,000 TADs would sound better than any Wilsons? I would agree with what I think your sentiment was: $80k should get you a pretty nice sounding speaker. But, Wilson Audio makes speakers that go way past $80k in the cost department. Way past. So if we make the assumption that cost = goodness, well, both companies have a product at a very advanced price point.

The basic idea of the thread was "where's the love for Japanese speakers (ie Yamaha, Sony etc)? To tell you the truth, I hadn't thought of it much. But, you are correct. not much love for Yamaha in the speaker dept. As a company, they make stand out products where ever they compete. A lot of good stuff in that brand name. But speakers? Not much love. I think as @shadyJ said, there's precious little money to be made in speakers and if a company was displaying good sense they'd put their investment dollars somewhere else.

As for Wilson Audio and really, really expensive speakers, I never believed any of that amounted to anything real or useful. Until I had the opportunity to listen to a set of the gigantic Wilsons. I will tell you in this life I will never have the coin to buy a set. But if someone were to die and throw a huge amount of coin my way, I could see a set of those gigantic Wilsons in my new music room. The one in the house I would have to build on the property I would have to have rezoned. They are staggering in what they can produce. Not price performers and probably outside of what Gene and the AH sees as its bread n butter market for speakers. But staggeringly good. American made. Not Japanese. Still no love.
 
zieglj01

zieglj01

Audioholic Spartan
Nice! Appreciate the link to the review, thanks.

Okay this is a new one for me, quoted from the article.

On the SU-C700's remote control is a button mysteriously labeled LAPC. This stands for Load Adaptive Phase Calibration. According to Technics, LAPC is "a speaker impedance optimization algorithm, using digital signal processing to flatten both the amplitude and phase-frequency response to make the most of your speakers."
Yes that is also strange to me -- but I would not use that button on the remote ... people and marketing love to play.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Verdinut
Why do you think the $80,000 TADs would sound better than any Wilsons? I would agree with what I think your sentiment was: $80k should get you a pretty nice sounding speaker. But, Wilson Audio makes speakers that go way past $80k in the cost department. Way past. So if we make the assumption that cost = goodness, well, both companies have a product at a very advanced price point.

The basic idea of the thread was "where's the love for Japanese speakers (ie Yamaha, Sony etc)? To tell you the truth, I hadn't thought of it much. But, you are correct. not much love for Yamaha in the speaker dept. As a company, they make stand out products where ever they compete. A lot of good stuff in that brand name. But speakers? Not much love. I think as @shadyJ said, there's precious little money to be made in speakers and if a company was displaying good sense they'd put their investment dollars somewhere else.

As for Wilson Audio and really, really expensive speakers, I never believed any of that amounted to anything real or useful. Until I had the opportunity to listen to a set of the gigantic Wilsons. I will tell you in this life I will never have the coin to buy a set. But if someone were to die and throw a huge amount of coin my way, I could see a set of those gigantic Wilsons in my new music room. The one in the house I would have to build on the property I would have to have rezoned. They are staggering in what they can produce. Not price performers and probably outside of what Gene and the AH sees as its bread n butter market for speakers. But staggeringly good. American made. Not Japanese. Still no love.
I have heard many Wilson speakers, and I have also heard a few different TAD speakers including the TAD Ones. I don't think the Wilson's sound bad, as some other people here do, but I certainly don't think they sound better than anything TAD makes. If you are interested in accuracy, Wilson does not compete with TAD. The problem with Wilson is that they tend to have flaws that are ridiculous for the cost of the speakers. If you are going to burn tons of money on overbuilt monster loudspeaker, make it a Magico or YG Acoustics speaker. At least they have some semblance of modern loudspeaker science involved in their design.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Verdinut
Why do you think the $80,000 TADs would sound better than any Wilsons? I would agree with what I think your sentiment was: $80k should get you a pretty nice sounding speaker. But, Wilson Audio makes speakers that go way past $80k in the cost department. Way past. So if we make the assumption that cost = goodness, well, both companies have a product at a very advanced price point.

The basic idea of the thread was "where's the love for Japanese speakers (ie Yamaha, Sony etc)? To tell you the truth, I hadn't thought of it much. But, you are correct. not much love for Yamaha in the speaker dept. As a company, they make stand out products where ever they compete. A lot of good stuff in that brand name. But speakers? Not much love. I think as @shadyJ said, there's precious little money to be made in speakers and if a company was displaying good sense they'd put their investment dollars somewhere else.

As for Wilson Audio and really, really expensive speakers, I never believed any of that amounted to anything real or useful. Until I had the opportunity to listen to a set of the gigantic Wilsons. I will tell you in this life I will never have the coin to buy a set. But if someone were to die and throw a huge amount of coin my way, I could see a set of those gigantic Wilsons in my new music room. The one in the house I would have to build on the property I would have to have rezoned. They are staggering in what they can produce. Not price performers and probably outside of what Gene and the AH sees as its bread n butter market for speakers. But staggeringly good. American made. Not Japanese. Still no love.
Yeah, the Wilson's are expensive and definitely not worth the money. The fact that they are expensive doesn't mean much. Most often, a great portion of the manufacturer's expense is in the cabinet construction and exterior finish with added marketing publicity.There are a lot of good loudspeaker manufacturers around and from European countries as well which build excellent speakers. With the Wilson's, you get to a point of a tiny diminishing improvement in sound improvement if any. I would like to see someone proceed with a serious DBT between the TAD products, some other excellent performing speakers and any Wilson.

As humans, we don't have much hearing memory and that's why when someone tries to compare two speakers, it's impossible to precisely compare one product even 1 minute after having heard another one, especially when both have near similar frequency responses.

You say that the gigantic Wilson's sounded amazing, but how much more amazing than the best ones which you remember hearing before? This is why the DBT is the only valid test. Are the Wilson's worth what they cost? I strongly doubt it. That's my sincere opinion.

I wonder if Gene or James ever heard those gigantic Wilson's. It would be good to have their feedback on this.
 
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BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Wow. Those look kinda cool. Why have I always thought of Technics as a sub par brand??
Back in the early 2000s, I used to sell dozens of Technics SL-1200 direct drive turntables in various conditions for next to nothing. Go and try to buy any decent one under $200-300. They become industry standard for DJ turntables.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
The TAD is theoretically a better design than the B & W line as it uses a coaxial speaker for the mid-high frequencies.
You can not say a coaxial design is inherently better. The problems are just different. Actually coaxial designs are hard to implement because of interference of tweeter reflections from the cone. That is why almost always there is almost always are smoother response a little off axis, than on axis. In addition these reflections do result in Doppler distortion of the tweeter output. Paul Klipsch proved that and wrote a paper on it years ago.

I do think though there are significant advantages to using coaxial drivers in center speakers.

As far as Yamaha speakers they have had a following in studios, especially as mix down speakers.

I think they are not the worst speakers, but they have a forward balance and would not be my choice.

I think all this comes down to which defects suit different genres of music.

The BBC greatly influenced the "British Sound" Their need was for monitoring chamber, orchestral and choral music. The really crucial band is 1K to 9K. Any elevation in this band, even a small one, is a big problem for this genre of music. This I still believe to be a big issue. I can not tolerate any elevation in this region. It ruins the violins, makes flutes shrill, puts the brass in your lap and ruins choral music. It also ruins a realistic perspective. Whereas as slight drop in this region is not unpleasant at all, and avoids a forward balance. So the BBC avoided this problem like the plague and pretty much made certain there was if anything a slight drop in response at 3 KHz. This became known as the "BBC Smiley."

Now the popular music aficionados did not like this response at all and wanted a more forward balance and were more tolerant of an elevated response in this region.

This gave rise to the notion that different speakers were better for different types of program. Far Eastern speakers have on the whole had elevations in this region.

Unfortunately getting a really flat response in this key mid and upper band is one of, no I wold say the toughest challenges, in any speaker design and few speakers really achieve what is required.

I will say though that a speaker with a very flat response in this region, on and off axis will please both camps.

I note the engineers from the world of music I do not listen to out of choice are very happy checking and remixing from my speakers.

So basically if you have a deep, tight and uncolored bass, and a good power band response to at least 2.5 K and a really flat midband response then that is most of the loaf. Then a good phase and transient response guilds the lily. The trouble is that it is such a juggling trick of interdependent variables. Above a below that and I mentioned people seem more tolerant of slight irregularities. I emphasize slight.

I think Asian designers seem much more tolerant of elevations in the midband and upper end responses than the rest of us for some reason. Having said that though, Japan was always a big market for UK speakers. The bulk of the output of the JW drivers and complete speakers went to Asia, above even the home market. So may be the Asians do not have such love for that type of sound as one might expect.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
If anyone wants to take a gamble on the Technics speakers, Hi-Fi Heaven has them, "open box" for $1,000/pr.
I suspect these are actually new because they seem to have several of both colors (I put five of each color in my cart with out getting any message about limited stock).

 
Gmoney

Gmoney

Audioholic Samurai
You’re gonna get some heat for that jab, bro. :D
Lolo, I know Andrew, I’m just poking fun at PENG, and Pogre, I’m waiting for someone to smack me upside my head for poking fun a Denon and Onkyo. :oops:I’ve owned many Onkyo AVR’s in the past and I actually like them a lot Plenty of creature features to enjoy. I do like Denons 3600 AVR wouldn’t mind having that unit if the prices right.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Lolo, I know Andrew, I’m just poking fun at PENG, and Pogre, I’m waiting for someone to smack me upside my head for poking fun a Denon and Onkyo. :oops:I’ve owned many Onkyo AVR’s in the past and I actually like them a lot Plenty of creature features to enjoy. I do like Denons 3600 AVR wouldn’t mind having that unit if the prices right.
There is a speaker for everyone and an AVR or Separates for everyone. Would be too boring if we all owned the same brand. :D
 
Gmoney

Gmoney

Audioholic Samurai
There is a speaker for everyone and an AVR or Separates for everyone. Would be too boring if we all owned the same brand. :D
Well stated Andrew, God knows You, Me, and just about all the old members on AH have owned just about every Two channel, AVR, Speaker’s and so on.
Man I can remember my first stereo it was a Lloyds with a built in Cassette deck I that was the best thing at the time. Got it at a HowardBrothers store back in 1971 I thought it was the greatest two channel unit ever! lol
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Well stated Andrew, God knows You, Me, and just about all the old members on AH have owned just about every Two channel, AVR, Speaker’s and so on.
Man I can remember my first stereo it was a Lloyds with a built in Cassette deck I that was the best thing at the time. Got it at a HowardBrothers store back in 1971 I thought it was the greatest two channel unit ever! lol
Come to think of it, my first pair of speakers were Japanese brand - Pioneer 2-way with 1" tweeter and 15" woofer. :D
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
As far as Yamaha speakers they have had a following in studios, especially as mix down speakers.

I think they are not the worst speakers, but they have a forward balance and would not be my choice...

I think Asian designers seem much more tolerant of elevations in the midband and upper end responses than the rest of us for some reason....
You mean "forward" midrange and treble like this B&W 800 Diamond:


Because the Yamaha Soavo-1 towers has a Response of about +/- 1.87dB from 200Hz-10kHz.

 
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Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
I have heard many Wilson speakers, and I have also heard a few different TAD speakers including the TAD Ones. I don't think the Wilson's sound bad, as some other people here do, but I certainly don't think they sound better than anything TAD makes. If you are interested in accuracy, Wilson does not compete with TAD. The problem with Wilson is that they tend to have flaws that are ridiculous for the cost of the speakers. If you are going to burn tons of money on overbuilt monster loudspeaker, make it a Magico or YG Acoustics speaker. At least they have some semblance of modern loudspeaker science involved in their design.
@shadyJ
A good friend of mine spent about $30,000 on a pair of Magicos. I always thought the price was insane, but, the sound is pretty incredible. Its nigh impossible for me to evaluate them because he only listens to classical stuff and I may be allergic to classical music.

Your observation is correct: I thought the big Wilsons were absolutely awesome but I really don't have anything else to compare them with that's also in that "money is no problem" class of speakers. I don't doubt the Wilsons (and other designer speakers) have flaws that may seem obvious when they are measured and graphed. But I think Wilson Audio has figured out their target market (as have other really expensive vendors) and they realize that they have something that pleases.

I sat down yesterday after these posts and listened for about an hour or so to my Salks. I smile everytime I get the chance to just let them loose for an hour. Salk has also figure out how to please. I don't care what the flaws may be. Those speakers please my whole soul.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Yeah, the Wilson's are expensive and definitely not worth the money. The fact that they are expensive doesn't mean much. Most often, a great portion of the manufacturer's expense is in the cabinet construction and exterior finish with added marketing publicity.There are a lot of good loudspeaker manufacturers around and from European countries as well which build excellent speakers. With the Wilson's, you get to a point of a tiny diminishing improvement in sound improvement if any. I would like to see someone proceed with a serious DBT between the TAD products, some other excellent performing speakers and any Wilson.

As humans, we don't have much hearing memory and that's why when someone tries to compare two speakers, it's impossible to precisely compare one product even 1 minute after having heard another one, especially when both have near similar frequency responses.

You say that the gigantic Wilson's sounded amazing, but how much more amazing than the best ones which you remember hearing before? This is why the DBT is the only valid test. Are the Wilson's worth what they cost? I strongly doubt it. That's my sincere opinion.

I wonder if Gene or James ever heard those gigantic Wilson's. It would be good to have their feedback on this.
Come to think of it, I have no idea how you could do a real A/B test with those gigantic Wilsons and any other speaker. The set that I listened to was taller than me at 6'2". And it was accompanied by a vertical set of subwoofers/speakers also taller than me for each of the channels. The sound image that it created was 10 to 12 feet tall maybe? and the spread between left and right was equally wide. The speakers were immense, but so was the image they created.

With something that big, how could you even begin to do a real blind test? I suppose most folks that buy that stuff don't do the scientific measurements or subscribe to the AH forum either.

I think @shadyJ said it just like you mentioned it: I don't have anything to compare them with that's in the same league. I was very impressed for sure. But I don't know that I've listened to much else ever that's in that price range. What I was most impressed with was the "difference" between that setup and most everything else I had heard up to that point. They truly were "different". Playing Dark Side of the Moon was a real experience at those volumes and in that setup. All the electronics were brand new McIntosh stuff.

Thankfully, I have no aspirations or bank accounts to make that even a glimmer of a dream. The price performance aspect of Gene and the AH is where I'm most comfortable. I doubt anything will change for me.
 

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