Japanese speakers - why not

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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
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.
I have heard a multitude of Wilson speakers and I have heard lots of Salk speakers. I would take a Salk System over a Wilson system any day of the week. The only advantage Wilson has is dynamic range. But since I don't normally listen at ear-splitting levels, that is no advantage for me.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
My 2nd system was built around Technics electronics and speakers. The main speakers were a pair of towers, SB-T200, ported in front and back and the tweeter wad placed between the two 5.5" woofers. They sounded Ok.
 
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pcosmic

Audioholic
How beautiful the music is.....the music that comes out of this tiny li'l Japanese beauty!
20201114_163102.jpg
 
P

pcosmic

Audioholic
Congrats, they definitely look nice!
So how does it compare to other speakers you have or have had?
I’ll try and limit this to Japanese speakers I currently own/have owned. I run ALL speakers no matter how “full range” or not they are with subs.

Current Japanese speakers are TAD Evo E1TXK, Yamaha NS-F901 and the Technics SB-C700. We’ll add the Elac Adante into this list because Andrew was largely influenced by Pioneer/TAD and Adantes sound eerily similar to TADs. (We might as well call him Andrew Yokohama!) I sold my Pioneer S-1EX (previously owned) because the Elac Adante (current) beat the sht out of it in every possible way. Andrew Jones went God mode with the Adante (seriously speaking).

The Technics can’t resolve as well as my TAD. It is understandable as the TAD is $$$$ and these can be bought for a 1000 bucks/pair. The TAD can also be very unforgiving and abuse your ears if you have shtty recordings. I am a proud owner of many many shtty recordings. So, I like the Technics for those.

The Technics does have that holographic magic/ghostly imaging like the Adante. It is very slightly less dynamic than the Adante. Both of them image better than the Yamaha NS-F901. But, the Yamaha tops the list of anything I’ve owned on how freaking real instruments sound (especially piano and strings). The Yam is an amazing speaker, but, so few people have heard of it in the US.

In short, the Technics is very detailede and yet pleasing and forgiving. It makes you quit being a analytical/neurotic/audiophiliac beeaatch and makes you actually enjoy the music. It beats the sht out of the Kef Ls 50 squawk box in many ways (here I go, I just made an enemy out of all the blood thirsty LS50 owning fiends out here bwaaahahaha).

I feel that Japanese speaker designers have mastered that subtle art of producing emotion with their designs. I bawl like a baby listening to the Technics and the Yamaha. It simply doesn’t happen with many other speakers like JBLs, REVELs, etc that I’ve had. JBL and REVEL, for instance, have the engineering aptitude behind them and can make speakers sound very good. But, this is one thing (this subtlety) that they lack on.

As far as amplification goes for the Technics speaker, go with class A . Drop the class D! Drop the D! Put that D down. I know, I know, even Technics with their sky high engineering expertise went class D with their latest amps and call it a great pairing with the SB-C700. But, it just doesn’t cut it. Go Luxman class A if you married rich or robbed a bank. Go Jungson (Zhongshen) class A if you’re on a budget. With Class A, the technics turns into a magic box. Hope that helps.
 
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MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
The Japanese did a very good job of matching the recording quality of most mainstream music during the '70s and '80s. They also had a pretty good handle on the general architecture with their biggest markets of the times as well.

Fast forward to overly sterile and vast, open floor plans, walls of glass and other shiny expanses and who would want to design a somewhat unanimously accepted speaker for that? The current popular manufacturers are mostly following the ruler flat measurement crutch, and auto EQ, to get them off the hook, these days. Can't be us, look at our measurements or, better yet, measure for yourself. It has to be (and likely always will be) your crappy room and sources that are all over the place. Look what all is prescribed for even dedicated/designed HT rooms now, or the fact that you pretty much better have an acoustically acceptable space, or you will be led down a path of perpetual upgraditus and other big, expensive ideas.

ETA: No matter what Japan could manage to bring to the audio table now, China can shamelessly copy it and offer it for much less. Japan, like everyone else, would have to use China. Back then, Japan was pretty much what China is today. "Made in Japan," was not a sign of the quality it is now. Their mechanics tools and other household items were pretty much crap, until Taiwan took over that role from them.
 
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pcosmic

Audioholic
The Japanese did a very good job of matching the recording quality of most mainstream music during the '70s and '80s. They also had a pretty good handle on the general architecture with their biggest markets of the times as well.

Fast forward to overly sterile and vast, open floor plans, walls of glass and other shiny expanses and who would want to design a somewhat unanimously accepted speaker for that? The current popular manufacturers are mostly following the ruler flat measurement crutch, and auto EQ, to get them off the hook, these days. Can't be us, look at our measurements or, better yet, measure for yourself. It has to be (and likely always will be) your crappy room and sources that are all over the place. Look what all is prescribed for even dedicated/designed HT rooms now, or the fact that you pretty much better have an acoustically acceptable space, or you will be led down a path of perpetual upgraditus and other big, expensive ideas.

ETA: No matter what Japan could manage to bring to the audio table now, China can shamelessly copy it and offer it for much less. Japan, like everyone else, would have to use China. Back then, Japan was pretty much what China is today. "Made in Japan," was not a sign of the quality it is now. Their mechanics tools and other household items were pretty much crap, until Taiwan took over that role from them.
I agree with you on speaker designers playing it "too safe" these days. Hey, measure our speakers and it looks good. If there is anything wrong with how it sounds, it is your room/setup. It is indeed a perfect case of cowardly CYA.

Yamaha, in my opinion, has a unique advantage in the hi-fi scene. But, I guess they just don't care enough to get into that market because of the crap you talk about. Keep in mind, they have been making pianos for more than a 100 years (not to mention violins and many other instruments). Masahiro Tobise is not just a head engineer, he also plays instruments. It is a legitimate advantage when you're designing speakers. In fact, they also brought in their musical instruments division for the hearing tests/reiterations for the first time ever. The speaker's cabinet design and all the tweaks were influenced by them..It's a bold move in the right direction. How many speaker manufacturers out there also have a "musical instruments division" to come straighten things out a bit for ya?? Yep, that's what i thought. But, these guys at Yamaha don't seem to wanna capitalize on the unique advantages they have. So be it. Atleast, they are not in cowardly CYA mode like the rest (though they don't sell much).

Actually let me add to that...I play a piano/ violin myself and just to make sure that my ears weren't old/gotten screwed up over the years, i have done blind tests with many of my musician friends and hifi junkies alike against JBLs, Revels, etc. The musician bunch (guys/gals) are not hardcore audiophiles and tend to have mid fi and some low end pro equipment really. This was my interesting observation. The musician bunch unequivocally tended to pick the Yamaha NS-F901 over the Revel/JBLs i tested them against. The hifi junkies (who didn't quite have 20 years of bleeding behind a violin, for instance) were a mixed bag. Some picked the Yamaha, others picked the Salon2.

I don't agree with your statement on the Chinese copying everything. For instance, all the top notch DACs out there these days, Denafrips, Holo, Topping (the shenzhen hifi stuff), etc are all home grown Chinese brands. The Jungson (Zhongshen) amp is their home grown brand coming up on 40 years. It is used by reputable broadcasting stations etc in Beijing and gives even brands like Luxman a run for its money (if you ask me). Their Shengya is more brutish and can be compared with Krell, etc. In my 30+ years of engineering and working with engineers from different parts of the world, dude, i have yet to see one dumass Chinese engineer. They tend to be very sharp.

Seriously, where do you guys get this idea that the Chinese are dumb as sht and can only copy things?

US/Euro companies willfully/knowingly sign on to contracts that open info shares with the Chinese manufacturers. It is part and parcel of doing business with them. So, no, they weren't cheated. They know exactly what it entails, but, still do it like greedy li'l btches to boost their profit margins. Don't blame the Chinese if Greedy McNeedy BillyBob screwed over the US laborer. The Chinese didn't come here and say "give us your jobs". It was good ol' JimBob and BillyBob who shipped your job over there and screwed over the US laborer. And guess what, if you quit manufacturing something for 30 years and then tried to start it back up, you are in a world of hurt. You simply lost the aptitude to manufacture something again. None of the corporate ladder climbing fools out here seem to get this.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
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
You say that as if it was a difficult thing to do. Ive not yet seen a Wilson product that measured wellin their frequency response.
 
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Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
Has anyone here heard or bought the Yamaha NS-5000’s?

From everything I’m reading, including the AH review, Yamaha really hit it out of the park. Then again at $19K and the gobs of power needed to run them at full-range, I would hope so. And more amazing is the dynamic sound coming out, for a giant bookshelf, per se.

BTW, my first ‘audiophile’ speaker was a pair of Technics, forget the model number now, when I was 15, paired to a Sony receiver. I kept them till I was 18 when I joined the big leagues and bought a pair of JBL LS-100’s. In hindsight the only advantage those JBL’s had was a more robust bottom end. I actually preferred the mids/highs of the Technics, they were more detailed.

If subwoofer's existed at the time, I wasn’t aware of it. I think I would have chosen the Technics vs. the JBL’s, paired with a sub.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Has anyone here heard or bought the Yamaha NS-5000’s?

From everything I’m reading, including the AH review, Yamaha really hit it out of the park. Then again at $19K and the gobs of power needed to run them at full-range, I would hope so. And more amazing is the dynamic sound coming out, for a giant bookshelf, per se.

BTW, my first ‘audiophile’ speaker was a pair of Technics, forget the model number now, when I was 15, paired to a Sony receiver. I kept them till I was 18 when I joined the big leagues and bought a pair of JBL LS-100’s. In hindsight the only advantage those JBL’s had was a more robust bottom end. I actually preferred the mids/highs of the Technics, they were more detailed.

If subwoofer's existed at the time, I wasn’t aware of it. I think I would have chosen the Technics vs. the JBL’s, paired with a sub.
Could be why a lot of folk disliked the L100 and/or reworked the crossover....
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
I agree with you on speaker designers playing it "too safe" these days. Hey, measure our speakers and it looks good. If there is anything wrong with how it sounds, it is your room/setup. It is indeed a perfect case of cowardly CYA.

Yamaha, in my opinion, has a unique advantage in the hi-fi scene. But, I guess they just don't care enough to get into that market because of the crap you talk about. Keep in mind, they have been making pianos for more than a 100 years (not to mention violins and many other instruments). Masahiro Tobise is not just a head engineer, he also plays instruments. It is a legitimate advantage when you're designing speakers. In fact, they also brought in their musical instruments division for the hearing tests/reiterations for the first time ever. The speaker's cabinet design and all the tweaks were influenced by them..It's a bold move in the right direction. How many speaker manufacturers out there also have a "musical instruments division" to come straighten things out a bit for ya?? Yep, that's what i thought. But, these guys at Yamaha don't seem to wanna capitalize on the unique advantages they have. So be it. Atleast, they are not in cowardly CYA mode like the rest (though they don't sell much).

Actually let me add to that...I play a piano/ violin myself and just to make sure that my ears weren't old/gotten screwed up over the years, i have done blind tests with many of my musician friends and hifi junkies alike against JBLs, Revels, etc. The musician bunch (guys/gals) are not hardcore audiophiles and tend to have mid fi and some low end pro equipment really. This was my interesting observation. The musician bunch unequivocally tended to pick the Yamaha NS-F901 over the Revel/JBLs i tested them against. The hifi junkies (who didn't quite have 20 years of bleeding behind a violin, for instance) were a mixed bag. Some picked the Yamaha, others picked the Salon2.

I don't agree with your statement on the Chinese copying everything. For instance, all the top notch DACs out there these days, Denafrips, Holo, Topping (the shenzhen hifi stuff), etc are all home grown Chinese brands. The Jungson (Zhongshen) amp is their home grown brand coming up on 40 years. It is used by reputable broadcasting stations etc in Beijing and gives even brands like Luxman a run for its money (if you ask me). Their Shengya is more brutish and can be compared with Krell, etc. In my 30+ years of engineering and working with engineers from different parts of the world, dude, i have yet to see one dumass Chinese engineer. They tend to be very sharp.

Seriously, where do you guys get this idea that the Chinese are dumb as sht and can only copy things?

US/Euro companies willfully/knowingly sign on to contracts that open info shares with the Chinese manufacturers. It is part and parcel of doing business with them. So, no, they weren't cheated. They know exactly what it entails, but, still do it like greedy li'l btches to boost their profit margins. Don't blame the Chinese if Greedy McNeedy BillyBob screwed over the US laborer. The Chinese didn't come here and say "give us your jobs". It was good ol' JimBob and BillyBob who shipped your job over there and screwed over the US laborer. And guess what, if you quit manufacturing something for 30 years and then tried to start it back up, you are in a world of hurt. You simply lost the aptitude to manufacture something again. None of the corporate ladder climbing fools out here seem to get this.
I didn't say the Chinese were dumb. It's pretty obvious that they are actually pretty slick. I also didn't say that they can "only copy things." The fact that they do copy things, and have been known to build substandard facsimiles, is a fact. Either way, that is partially (the other part is on those that will buy it) their fault that such a reputation has become them, not mine. Also, I have been at odds with domestic companies that 'sell out' to cheap labor countries, and for more moral reasons than economic. I have resisted buying into it for decades. Probably 99% of the reason I build most of my own, long term equipment and whatnot from domestic materials, or recycle/rebuild old domestic machinery/appliances for my own consumption, as well.


"Jimbob and Billybob?" l hate to tell you but, Jimbob and Billybob do not fit the profile of those who actually sold "my" job overseas. My job is pretty secure here, actually. I actually chose a profession that was pretty futureproof in that respect. Somehow, my vocation is not so easily replaced. You must be from up north or out west, or some other country entirely, to use such antiquated and stereotypical, regional/cultural associations, otherwise.

"Dude?" Exactly what did that add to your point, other than that I am being addressed by some sheltered millennial, who has never had a respectable male role model teach them how to speak to other people?
 
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pcosmic

Audioholic
"Jimbob and Billybob?" l hate to tell you but, Jimbob and Billybob do not fit the profile of those who actually sold "my" job overseas. My job is pretty secure here, actually. I actually chose a profession that was pretty futureproof in that respect. Somehow, my vocation is not so easily replaced. You must be from up north or out west, or some other country entirely, to use such antiquated and stereotypical, regional/cultural associations, otherwise.

"Dude?" Exactly what did that add to your point, other than that I am being addressed by some sheltered millennial, who has never had a respectable male role model teach them how to speak to other people?
Nope, i was born in a place called Texas to an American mother and a scientist from Germany. The old German fondly referred to all the low aptitude freeloading trailer trash 'patriots' who walk around with a sense of entitlement in America as JimBobs and BillyBobs. I chose to retain those antiquated terms in my vocabulary because it is a lotta fun.

If you wanna refer to a guy in his 50s as a "sheltered millenial", i may even try to take it as a compliment. But, no respectable male role model?? How about this? Shove your head up your larda** and be quiet, you fcking doughboy.
 
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Hobbit

Full Audioholic
I didn't say the Chinese were dumb. It's pretty obvious that they are actually pretty slick. I also didn't say that they can "only copy things." The fact that they do copy things, and have been known to build substandard facsimiles, is a fact. Either way, that is partially (the other part is on those that will buy it) their fault that such a reputation has become them, not mine. Also, I have been at odds with domestic companies that 'sell out' to cheap labor countries, and for more moral reasons than economic. I have resisted buying into it for decades. Probably 99% of the reason I build most of my own, long term equipment and whatnot from domestic materials, or recycle/rebuild old domestic machinery/appliances for my own consumption, as well.
I've had a career in the semiconductor industry and visited fabs in China many times. Their quality has superseded other fabs in the west and around APac making the same product. Indeed, they do make some lower quality stuff. Often however, for western companies that ask for the low price/quality. Who's fault is it? Or they're just filling a niche in the market. I've bought cheap stuff before knowing it won't last (vice versa too). I will also point out that when your esteemed brand breaks people will say it's a one-off. Heaven forbid what they say if it was made in certain countries. You see this with cars companies lot. Some makers have great consumer reputations but the stats don't back up their quality and time the car brand spends in the shop.

Interestingly, I was watching a NASA documentary where the engineers were tasked with building something they never built before but other countries had. What did they do, and admit to it? Look at what was our there and copy them. Why wouldn't you do this? Should you ignore all the achievements that have been made and start from scratch like the Wright brothers? The reality is companies do reverse engineer their competitors products and learn from them. I'm not saying some companies take it to far, even in here in the US.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Samurai
I read this thread and gave it some thought. I wouldn't mind at all. I don't have this notion of "speaker producing" countries vs. those that are not. There but for the grace of God go... If Japs made something like LS50 and you guys here lead me to gave it a listen, I'd buy them and wouldn't think twice whether they are Japanese.

Quite the opposite; I'd have a hard time believing that Japanese would have some sort blind spot that would prevent them to excel in speaker design.
 
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pcosmic

Audioholic
Reminds me of the KEF LS50 line, did Technics copy the design from KEF, or vice-versa? Ever hear them in a side by side comparison?
Yes i have had them both side by side and the KEF was a let down squawkbox to my ears. Nope, Technics doesn't need to copy anything from KEF and in fact, their first coax driver design for a speaker (SB RX50) came out in 1986. But, just take a closer look at the recent Technics and tell me where you saw a driver like that from KEF (it sure is no typical coax design from the likes of KEF or Tannoy). You would not have seen anything like it.
 
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MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
I've had a career in the semiconductor industry and visited fabs in China many times. Their quality has superseded other fabs in the west and around APac making the same product. Indeed, they do make some lower quality stuff. Often however, for western companies that ask for the low price/quality. Who's fault is it? Or they're just filling a niche in the market. I've bought cheap stuff before knowing it won't last (vice versa too). I will also point out that when your esteemed brand breaks people will say it's a one-off. Heaven forbid what they say if it was made in certain countries. You see this with cars companies lot. Some makers have great consumer reputations but the stats don't back up their quality and time the car brand spends in the shop.

Interestingly, I was watching a NASA documentary where the engineers were tasked with building something they never built before but other countries had. What did they do, and admit to it? Look at what was our there and copy them. Why wouldn't you do this? Should you ignore all the achievements that have been made and start from scratch like the Wright brothers? The reality is companies do reverse engineer their competitors products and learn from them. I'm not saying some companies take it to far, even in here in the US.
Again, i did not say that "all" of the stuff China builds is bad, or that they are dumb. Much of what they have built for the mass market has been utter crap, regardless of who's fault it is/was because they put their name on it. They have gotten better. It was merely a point of reference from where the things I was talking about come from. To have gone into all of the angles of their manufacturing, the history of it, as it pertains to the mass markets it covers now, would have taken a book. And yes, they can and will copy other products and the end result is rarely as good as the original. 99% of the time, I blame the market that buys these things for their existence. Same as I do with other low value purchases, or even stolen property, for that matter.

When we started getting affordable, every day things from Japan here, it was junk. The cars were ok. It was obvious we were witnessing Japan's technological evolution as it pertains to "value" because, their export cars and their tools became excellent. So much so, that we actually fell behind and then had to catch up. It's only in the last couple of decades that domestic car companies can compete, by either using Japanese manufactured parts, or entire drivetrains, for that matter, or build things a lot like theirs.
 
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pcosmic

Audioholic
I've had a career in the semiconductor industry and visited fabs in China many times. Their quality has superseded other fabs in the west and around APac making the same product. Indeed, they do make some lower quality stuff. Often however, for western companies that ask for the low price/quality. Who's fault is it? Or they're just filling a niche in the market. I've bought cheap stuff before knowing it won't last (vice versa too). I will also point out that when your esteemed brand breaks people will say it's a one-off. Heaven forbid what they say if it was made in certain countries. You see this with cars companies lot. Some makers have great consumer reputations but the stats don't back up their quality and time the car brand spends in the shop.

Interestingly, I was watching a NASA documentary where the engineers were tasked with building something they never built before but other countries had. What did they do, and admit to it? Look at what was our there and copy them. Why wouldn't you do this? Should you ignore all the achievements that have been made and start from scratch like the Wright brothers? The reality is companies do reverse engineer their competitors products and learn from them. I'm not saying some companies take it to far, even in here in the US.
MBoat is a clueless, toothless kool-aid drinking BillyBob who has never left Alabama.
For instance, I'll name a list of countries the good ol USofA has "copied/borrowed" from in the industries i have worked in. ..Soviet Union/Russia, China, S.Korea, Japan, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Canada....Ya gotta quit pointing fingers and move on in life.
 
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MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
Nope, i was born in a place called Texas to an American mother and a scientist from Germany. The old German fondly referred to all the low aptitude freeloading trailer trash 'patriots' who walk around with a sense of entitlement in America as JimBobs and BillyBobs. I chose to retain those antiquated terms in my vocabulary because it is a lotta fun.

If you wanna refer to a guy in his 50s as a "sheltered millenial", i may even try to take it as a compliment. But, no respectable male role model?? How about this? Shove your head up your larda** and be quiet, you fcking doughboy.
It's not my fault that you can't read, and then color other people's posts with your own misguided, bigoted and bitter assumptions. You must have been waiting to unload all of that pap, at the first opportunity that kinda-sorta 'almost' arose. You are quite the touchy little violinist, aren't you? So I guess being a violinist in Texas must have been a rough row to hoe around all those good o'l boys, for you to have such animosity towards Jimbob and Billybob. LOL!
 
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pcosmic

Audioholic
It's not my fault that you can't read, and then color other people's posts with your own misguided, bigoted and bitter assumptions. You must have been waiting to unload all of that pap, at the first opportunity that kinda-sorta 'almost' arose. You are quite the touchy little violinist, aren't you? So I guess being a violinist in Texas must have been a rough row to hoe around all those good o'l boys, for you to have such animosity towards Jimbob and Billybob. LOL!
Ah yes, the violin/piano, i play it for fun. What can you do besides twisting your teeny li'l weeny every hour? I bet i could buy you for real cheap and throw you down the drain. Now, pick up your teeth off the floor and leave BBob. LOL!
 

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