J

Jonnystar

Audiophyte
<font color='#000000'>Just wondering how many of you out there have heard of Nuance and what you think about them.. Also wondering how many people here own a Nuance system... Looking for rants or raves ..</font>
 
Buckeyefan 1

Buckeyefan 1

Audioholic Ninja
Jonnystar said:
<font color='#000000'>Just wondering how many of you out there have heard of Nuance and what you think about them.. Also wondering how many people here own a Nuance system... Looking for rants or raves ..</font>
Joey, no disrespect here, but I've seen too many threads on Nuance not to mention this.

This was taken directly from the Home Theater Forum.
The truth about Nuance Speakers

A salesman said they are the #1 selling speaker in Canada. Is this true?

Probably not but a lot of people do buy them. Nuance audio is a Canadian speaker company based in Markham Ontario that is sold throughout the country in various shopping malls and stores. In any given store that sells these you may be looking for a specific product (like a DVD player) but the salesperson will want to show you these "amazing new speakers". So off you go to the demo room.

I heard them and they sounded quite good, especially that spatial 3D sound

So what was it they played for you? The man chopping the wood? The song Vogue by Madonna? Perhaps it was the hula girls? Maybe the Roger Waters tune? All these tracks have one thing in common which is Q sound. They do have some great imaging like the salesperson claims but its only because of Q sound encoded discs. To put it simply, Q sound makes the audio seem like it comes from the sides and behind you when in fact no speakers are there. Remember- its not the speakers that do this. Any speaker will have this effect (to a degree) as long as you play a Q sound encoded disc.

But the speakers are so big and loud, they have to be good!

Yeah them towers are quite impresive. Big bad-boy in your face sound. But there's a reason behind this, they do it to appeal to the 18-35 demographic. Big 12" subs, lots of drivers and 6 feet tall. Everything a testosterone ridden 20 year old needs. As for the actual sound of them...well I have done my own listening tests and I can honestly say they fall way short of what is considered good sound.

How come when I told the salesperson I wasn't interested he said he would slash the price by 50%

Because he can afford too. He could probably afford to slash it another 50% on top of that and still make a good doller. These things are ridicuously overpriced to begin with. When he slashes the price he's fooling you into thinking your getting a bargain. Its a great selling tactic that unfortunatly works.

But they have a 10 year warranty!

Yes they do. Most speaker companies have 5 year warranties so a 10 year warranty seems like they must have faith in their product. The truth is that the drivers (woofers and tweeters) are very cheap and inexpensive for the company to replace. Without going into great detail the woofers are paper with a laminate of sorts on the surface to give them a more expensive polypropelene look. Paper drivers, for the most part, are a thing of the past as new and better materials become available.

I checked out their website but couldn't find any pictures or specifications

Nuance belives we should all "trust our ears and to not be fooled by flashy specifications" and that specs are not needed. Well then I guess its a crap-shoot as to whether your amplifer at home will properly drive them to a real world listening level. This spec called sensitivity makes all the world of a difference of how loud a speaker will go and yet they don't supply it. Wow, a company marketing their product on their website and there is not even one picture of it. Very strange.

Now I'm starting to wonder about Nuance...is there anything else I should know?

Glad you asked. For one, they do not advertise. Also, Nuance does not allow any professional reviews of their products. They have even threatened to sue Andrew Marshall, publisher/editor of the Canadian magazine Audio Ideas Guide if he borrowed or bought a pair to do this. And if that isn't enough, journalists (like Andrew Marshall) are not allowed to go into the Nuance closed door demos at such events as the Canadian Hi-Fi Show and Montreal Festival du Son.

In short, these speakers are not a good value. They will sound louder and better than many speakers that grace many Canadian livingroom's. But those speakers are a few hundred dollers, not thousands like a full set of Nuance. And for thousands, you can buy a much better sounding quality speaker that doesn't employ shady tactics. Quite frankly, Nuance Audio is a disgrace to Canada's reputation in the audio world for we manufacture some world class speakers.

http://www.nuanceaudio.com


Here's a pair on ebay. Not a horrible deal for a set of towers, but again, not sure what they compare to. Athena, BIC, or Acoustech IMO would be a smarter purchase.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5789409024&category=14993&ssPageName=WDVW&rd=1
 
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Buckeyefan 1

Buckeyefan 1

Audioholic Ninja
Here's some more info on Nuance from AudioReview.com.

Date Reviewed: 2/23/01 10:33:05 PM

Well today I had the pleasure of going to international Stereo to really hear a pair of Nuance sing. I told the "nuance rep" that I wanted to hear it in 2 channel, no surround. No movies. Just music. He said fine and threw in the chopping wood track. What great imaging for Q sound! It even got better when I moved the chair slightly off the center. All that imaging dissapeared! Looks like only one person will ever "benefit" to hear Nuances great imaging. I wonder what Nuance will do when multi-channel music takes off...all that wonderful imaging will really mess things up.I guess Nuance will have to make some Q sound multi channel DVD-A for demos! Can't wait to hear these!
I have a reference Cd that I listen to. It has great sound and I have listened to it on numerous different makes and models. Most have impressed me.I heard it on Paradigm Titan speakers($400.00 bookshelves), my Mirage Om-10s($1500.00 passive towers) and also JM Lab(not sure of the model, but they were $98 000). Each of these speakers sounded pretty good and obviously, at least in this case, as the price went up so did the quality of sound I heard. Them JM Labs are something else.
So I tell the Nuance rep to put the disc in and put it on track 8. He says sure but first I have to listen to Madonna's Vogue. Great...another Q sound encoded disc. And this I know...cause I have it. I thought great I can make a comparison to what I hear at home. To say the least I was not impressed. The bass was a little muddy and they had no depth. Forward, in your face bright sound.Sure, they imaged! Sounds came from beside me. Big deal,its the quality of sound that really matters. But I still had not listened to my disc yet. This is when I asked him how much for the pair...he told me $4800.00 . I knew I was going to get a riduculous price so I saved the moment by not laughing and keeping a straight face. Of course you can wheel and deal so I imagine you can pick up these bad boys for 3000-3500.
Now for the real test. On came the track 8 that I requested and within 20 seconds something was horribly amiss. I knew these would sound bad...but this bad? Even after blasting my eardrums with my portable discman on for the last 3 hours? This song has great detail, so many nuances that a listener will hear. I didn't hear them much on these 4800.00 dollar speakers. The bass was not accurate and very muddy. No crispness to the highs. The cymbals that I have come to love didn't have that nice airy feel. All this on speakers that are 3000.00 dollars more than mine! What a bargain! I was in shock at what I was hearing.
Mr. Nuance rep asked me what I thought. I told him honestly I think they sounded terrible. ESPECIALLY for the price. I could have started ripping into him about everything I know about this company but I wasn't there to do that. I just wanted to hear where my hard earned 4800.00 dollars would go. He figured me out and knew that I had an idea about audio. So he quickly took my CD out and opened the door but we chatted a little more.
He asked what I had at home and I told him. He asked me if they were "imiging speakers" and I said No-there Bipolar. He gave me a puzzled look. Expected. I shot off a quick ramble about soundstage and detail that I wasn't hearing. Soon he was blaming the acoustics in his demo room. I looked at him and said "Buddy, I have the same hard reflective surfaces in my room at home...the only difference is my room is small, about 10 ft. by 12 ft. Hardly enough room for a set of bipolars for optimum sound...believe me I dream of a room this size"
And basically that was it. I walked out and left the store.
All of you that think I just spent the last how many minutes typing this for my own pleasure think again. This is all true and if any of you are thinking about spending loads of cash on speakers, do yourself a favor and shop around. I realize that many of you love these speakers but I really don't think you have listened to much of anything else. I know there big and intimadating looking and rate very high on the impress-your-friends scale. I also know that some of you actually question your purchase of Nuance but people don't like to get burned. So, pyscologicaly you think they sound great...but now I'm starting to sound like an audiophile. Heaven forbid I wouldn't want that. I just don't like to get screwed. And all of you that go for these pieces of trash are getting it real hard in the ***.


My second posting some time later:

Date Reviewed: 12/18/01 1:27:28 AM

In regards to the post below mine.

*begin rant*

First- They DO sound terrible. This would be very apparent if one could do the A/B test. Hook 2 sets of speakers up and see which ones sound the best. If Nuance is so wonderful, then why (at least here in edmonton) do they not sell them beside another speaker that could potentialy change the consumers mind? I'll tell you why. Two reasons. Because then most would agree that they do sound terrible (bloated lows, no nice crisp cymbal crashing highs, a mid that sounds like a megaphone; I don't need to go on). The second is the most important-the markup. The amount of money it takes to make one of these is scandoulus considering what they are selling these for. That flyer they have, the $10 000 ultimate, best home theater in the business. Hmmmm. You get your mains, center, surrounds, a reciever thats worth no more than $1500.00 and a DVD player thats worth no more than $900.00(I only say this because the flyer says its progressive scan, but probably not a true 3:2 pulldown progressive scan player) so its probably really worth closer to $500.00. So in this case, the speakers cost $8000.00 roughly. All of you Nuance reps out there reading this (ya you know who you are)know there is a lot more to be had for 8 Grand than this crap. And, as a rep, if you don't know, then the company loves you. Because your selling an inferior product to people that don't know any better and taking them to the cleaners. Thinking that because they spent big bucks it HAS to be good. I say Ignorance is bliss, on both ends.

Second-The writer below says there is no tricks with the CDs they play, it simple 2 channel. CDs one can buy in the store. He's absolutley right. However, these discs that they like to demo for music do have an ace up their sleeve. They image. They image very well. They do this because of Q-sound, an old technology being used on these state of the art speakers. Nothing more than tricking the mind into hearing things where they shouldn't be coming from. Why do they use Madonna's greatest hits as demo material? Because its encoded with Q sound, especially the track Vogue. That disc is over 10 years old. Wheres some newer demo material? Its old hat, nobody really encodes with Q Sound anymore. Theres another speaker manufacturer that uses the same trick, but its not so much with the software. Its DCM Timewindows and they have actually designed speakers that make you think your hearing stuff behind you. Its not nearly as effective as a 5.1 set-up but still does the trick. And its way less money. The people of Nuance/International Stereo decided that the J6P's out there (J6P= Joe six Pack, a term for people that don't know and sometimes think they do) needed a really expensive speaker to become available to the masses and they will buy it because they just don't know any better. And it has worked. They say nobody can out do them with their 10 year warranty. Bryston, a highly respected Canadian company that makes amplifiers offers a 20 year TRANSFERABLE warranty on their stuff. Sure, its amps and not speakers, but their prone to breaking down too, like everything else we as consumers buy.
To touch on the Q sound idea again, every speaker images(to a point) and all Nuance did was grab a theme(Q sound) and go with it. Nobody knows about Q sound so they can manipulate them into believing that the state of the art Nuance speakers are reproducing this. Simple as that. And thousands have bought into it.

As for the sound of them...do look closer at the drivers. They want you to think they are expensive and have a polypropelene look to them. It's just paper woofers with some hardening substance on them. If they left them just paper it would probably sound better, but these audio scammers at Nuance know that the look of the speaker is almost as important as the sound. If it looks good, it sounds good. And anyway, who wants to admit that they got burnt for thousands? Nobody. So even though you may hear something that sounds crisper, tighter bass and is only $600.00 you will justify your Nuance purchase because you spent more. Or there bigger. Or whatever. Go to A&B sound and listen to some Energy's. A fraction of the price with 10 times the sound. Or, if your feeling adventurous, check out some hi-fi shops. Great deals can be had there too.
 
P

Privateer

Full Audioholic
Have nuance mk2 for frounts and baby 360's for rear and center and they kick some major ***. Shacks everything and is syphony concert quility sound. get em if you can!!
Nuance is 100% junk.
 
C

Cygnus

Senior Audioholic
I don't know...my grandpa and uncle have Nuance speakers and I think they sound fine. Whatever floats your boat, I suppose! :)
 
brian32672

brian32672

Banned
Buckeyefan 1 said:
Joey, no disrespect here, but I've seen too many threads on Nuance not to mention this.

This was taken directly from the Home Theater Forum.
The truth about Nuance Speakers


Very interesting on what not to buy.... I would not have this problem anyways, no moula..... Or at least not that kind of moula...
 
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Takeereasy

Takeereasy

Audioholic General
Nuance is s disreputable company that has been sued class action style in Edmonton. They are charged with artificially overpricing their products. They only sold their products through unsavoury dealerships that used high pressure sales tactics and bold faced lies to try and close a deal. They make you think you are getting a BMW 700 series when really you are getting a Ford Festiva. Now there may not be anything wrong with a Ford Fiesta.. ahh who am I kidding there is a ton wrong with Ford Feistas. Nuance is one deceptive company IMO.
 
brian32672

brian32672

Banned
Takeereasy said:
They make you think you are getting a BMW 700 series when really you are getting a Ford Festiva. Now there may not be anything wrong with a Ford Fiesta.. ahh who am I kidding there is a ton wrong with Ford Feistas.
Thats pretty funny, but how about a Pinto.
 
Takeereasy

Takeereasy

Audioholic General
I'm not a big fan of their company but I don't think Nuance speakers will blow up in the event of a rear collision ;) .
 
Spiffyfast

Spiffyfast

Audioholic General
Wow, people definately have a distaste for this brand, kind of reminds of a similair brand that focus on very small little cube speakers and charges thousands for them......so Bose does small ones, Nuance does large, just curious why everyone is making Nuance sound like an evil company, other than Q sound thing which is kind shady I will admit, if they didn't do that, I'd just call it great marketing, they are giving their target market what they want, a great big speaker that makes a lot of noise and looks good.
 
Takeereasy

Takeereasy

Audioholic General
There is a massive difference between Bose and Nuance. (look what you've done Spiffy, you've got me sticking up for Bose) Nuance purposely uses disreputable vendors to sell its products. The vendors use high pressure sales, make that very high pressure sales, tactics to get you to buy on the spot. They also will lie and mislead you at every possible moment. I've been for a Nuance demo, they offered me the $4000 package for $1300 if I could buy now. I don't want to go into a whole speil here, but by the time I left the store I felt dirty. The tactics were so high pressure, and they lied and prodded and jabbed at me every 2 damn seconds. To be honest I didn't think the speakers sounded that bad(not worth either $4000 or $1300 to me though), but I would never buy anything from those people. The staff was either incompetent or lied to, and very obviously working on commision. The shop that sold Nuance at our local mall was forced to leave by management after too many complaints. I hoped it was because they went out of business, but it wasn't. The same store has a branch in Toronto at Square One mall. They stopped selling Nuance and they now carry another brand called IKON. There was a nice thread here on AH about this store and their sales tactics.


Nuance sells an inferior product at an insane price. That is where the similarities between Bose and Nuance stop. Bose doesn't employ scam artists and fly by night shops to sell their products. And the last time I checked the only audio store to carry Bose products only was the Bose store.


Essentially my point is this. Bose is an example of what marketing can do for a company if conducted agressively and correctly. I don't like Bose but they have never done anything to make my skin crawl. Nuance is the same thing as white van speakers IMO and is an example of the worst kind of predation in the speaker world.
 
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Spiffyfast

Spiffyfast

Audioholic General
Thanks for clarifying, by the other posts it didn't sound as though the sales people were purposely misleading customers
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Note that these post are usually someone fishing to see if they can grab some new, unsuspecting sucker...I mean, customers. It's the same post every time, just to see whether or not people respond negatively to it. I just ignore them normally.
 
D

dr.watson

Audiophyte
I have had 2 sets of Nuance speakers for 5 and 7 years. I come from a family of professional musicians so I feel that I have a trained ear. i like the clarity and spatial aspect of the sound. I have never had any technical problem at all, and I have 3 teenagers who crank up the sound on a regular basis.
 
D

dr.watson

Audiophyte
These criticisms sound set up by disgruntled people.They say they go into to store to look for a product to criticize and then they wait for a "nuance rep' to make a presentation. They are offended that a salesman would try and show their product in a good light.I don't trust any of these opinions. Are they posted by competitors? Maybe trusting your own ears is the best way to buy speakers.Price?....value?....Shop around and make the best deal on what you think are the best sounding speakers.Oh gee, is that just like everything else you spend your hard earned money on.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
dr.watson said:
Oh gee, is that just like everything else you spend your hard earned money on.
Exactly, so why bother with something like Nuance that has been proven time and again to be disreputable? You are right, to each their own, but they also say ignorance is bliss.
 
wire

wire

Senior Audioholic
dr.watson said:
I have had 2 sets of Nuance speakers for 5 and 7 years. I come from a family of professional musicians so I feel that I have a trained ear. i like the clarity and spatial aspect of the sound. I have never had any technical problem at all, and I have 3 teenagers who crank up the sound on a regular basis.
I have one set , they sound just fine and a center ( that i prefer over my Klipsh center ) . I use SH with them and they sound great and i ve always pumped big power through them 250 rms per channel :) . You can buy these on the used market for a fair price .
 
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C

Cabinetmaker

Audiophyte
As a student I used to work for the shady "World Sound and Vision" at the square one shopping centre in Mississauga, ON. We were told by management to push these garbage speakers on any sucker by any means at all. I often saw colleagues and management flat out lie to customers to get rid of our inventory.
 
L

LARRY IMRICH

Audiophyte
I was privy to selling these speakers through two retail stores here in Canada. At CES George Baker the CEO of Nuance Speaker Company took all the salesman to a steakhouse called the Golden Steer. He proceeded to tell us all how rich we were to become selling his products how he was able to compete with lensed drivers Q sound demo discs and Q sound capable amps. If one was to ever hook up an OHM meter to any of their Bi-wire capable speakers done so with brass jumpers available with every set of nuance loudspeakers. Most home speakers have a nominal impedance rating of 8 ohms; likewise, practically all home A/V receivers are designed to be stable when pushing an 8-ohm load. Any Nuance Loudspeaker when you take the driver out of the cabinet showed 4 ohms resistance if its designed correctly it should be 8 ohms. Cheap inexpensive 4 ohm drivers when the tweeter showed 4 ohms then bridged. it fooled the 8 ohm load being shared by 2 4ohm drivers. dropping impedance like this doubles what THD the amp was producing. Cleaner the amp the better the spatial psychoacoustics would be produced at half the production costs of regular high end 8 ohm speakers.
 

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