The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event - Page 34 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #331 of 1075 Old 10-23-13, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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JayMB wrote: View Post
In the future, it might be interesting to include DIY speakers as a comparison, as well.
We have had a lot of request for DIY, but we need DIY speakers, which don't include factory boxes... and not many owners care to pay for shipping to and from us, like the manufacturers will. We might could get a few to bring some in, but we only have room for so many people. As it is, 4 is tight... 5 is crowed... and starts to severely limit our listening time. For some reason I just don't think we would get very many DIY takers.


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Dwight Angus wrote: View Post
As a suggestion try AIX digital uncompressed audio. The recordings allow for either 2 channel or multi channel setup 24/96. I have several recordings and really enjoy them.
I need to investigate these a little more. I believe I have one disc, but don't remember listening to it before. Maybe I should.


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goyop wrote: View Post
One note of caution - it is possible to fatigue your ears. If you guys are partying every night and watching awesome movies on awesome systems it definitely can impact your hearing sensitivity. There are OSHA charts that show how long a person can be exposed to different SPL levels before there is temporary or permanent damage. So if you guys are sitting around listening at 100 db there is a time period after which your temporary hearing ability will be diminished. I have worked in studios and live sound and it is a real issue.
We take turns all day... then take frequent breaks, although the music listening is not loud by any means.

For the movies... we will only watch one movie per night so that we can review the system... 1.5-2 hours or so.

No partying here. None of us drink anything outside of tea, cokes, water, coffee, etc. We try to stay focused and rest our minds when needed.


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Wayne A. Pflughaupt wrote: View Post

Iíve been drooling over the Ultras since they came out, but unfortunately there are no wood veneer options and I donít do piano black!
This are black, but not piano black. I have tried to get satin black, black oak or black ash for all of our evaluation units... just in case I want to buy a pair. However, we are going to start taking any color we can get going forward, so that we can open up the options a little more.

I am not a fan of shiny anything, simply because I know they will either be a part of my home theater system, or at least be in the room with the home theater. Shiny speakers shine, especially when the light is reflecting off the screen. It can be distracting. All speaker manufacturers should offer their speakers in a satin black.

I really have no idea what some companies are thinking. Some of them sell home theater system packages and only offer them in gloss or piano black. Hello!!! It is for a home theater... who wants a shiny black speaker right below or above their screen reflecting all that light? Just doesn't make sense... and I guarantee you they lose a few sales by not offering the speakers in non-sheen black.

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post #332 of 1075 Old 10-23-13, 11:30 PM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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Sonnie wrote: View Post
I really have no idea what some companies are thinking. Some of them sell home theater system packages and only offer them in gloss or piano black. Hello!!! It is for a home theater... who wants a shiny black speaker right below or above their screen reflecting all that light? Just doesn't make sense... and I guarantee you they lose a few sales by not offering the speakers in non-sheen black.
I have wondered about this for years. Piano black has no business being on home theater speakers, it's Piano Black for crying out loud! Great on Pianos but not in my home theater.
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post #333 of 1075 Old 10-24-13, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

I think I might like it if I had some sort of fancy upscale listening room, otherwise big towers would be out of place in my house. I have a couple of piano black bookshelf speakers in our great room, but you can't really see them that much because they are on the shelves, and take up most of the opening space. I am not even sure what I have these speakers in here to begin with. I should have something cheaper for no more than what we listen to them. As a matter of fact, they are for sell... who wants them? lol

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post #334 of 1075 Old 10-24-13, 05:08 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

Quite excited to see the results of this shootout - and its extremely encouraging that its in a room such as this where the effect of the room has been taken away to the best as possible

To me that gives the results far more credibility - fair play
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post #335 of 1075 Old 10-24-13, 06:26 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

I'm kind of new to the Home Theater world and love the idea of side by side evals! I do have a question: I know that all of the speakers are top quality and I would be be proud to own any of them, but when you get right down to it, isn't the actual output sound subjective to the listener. I used to have a very inexpensive theater-in- a-box and loved the center channel so much I used it for years with my pro set of speakers. My friends used to give me a hard time until they heard the center speaker. Some liked it better some didn't.
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post #336 of 1075 Old 10-24-13, 09:52 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

DIY - I just finished what I feel to be one of the best speakers I have ever heard in my, or another persons listening room. I made the cabinet and zoebel but the speaker is original. An 8" Tang Band W-8-1772 in a 30 liter box that runs full range and just nails it. While it will not go too loud, say above 85db too easily and it does not have great bass, I use 2 Velodyne subs with these speakers run in stereo, so they are essentially full range.

The things just work, musical, dynamic, spaciality for days all the while laying bare everything in a recording. I have not heard such detail and mesmerizing yet emotional reproduction of music since the old Quads were with me. I still have to paint or laminate the cabinets, but I cannot stop listening. Small tube amp or several hundred watts per channel out of a SS amp, I think I have found a little part of sonic nirvana. When finished anyone is welcome to listen or place in the sound off, I believe they are that good. Better in many ways that my Martin Logans....yep true.

Good Listening

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post #337 of 1075 Old 10-24-13, 11:01 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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eyecatcher127 wrote: View Post
I have to say I'm very excited to read about another speaker shootout here at HTS. I was hoping to see some RAAL ribbons in the mix since I personally would like to audition some but maybe next round the votes will ring in.
The RAAL ribbons that we heard in products at RMAF were VERY nice, among the best-sounding tweeters there. I wish we had a set of them in the mix, too. Fingers crossed for the next round. Maybe we can talk Sonnie into ruling that the RAAL model with the most votes next poll gets in no matter what, so we have the RAAL tweeter represented.

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I'm curious to hear if Audyssey XT32 will be utilized in the shoot out for each evaluation in addition to Pure Direct.
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Driver_King wrote: View Post
Audyssey XT32 utilization would require a number of receivers, would it not? In any case, hearing the speakers when they are calibrated to help alleviate influences from the room and listening position would probably allow for the most neutral comparison between the different sets of speakers and would be interesting to see how the calibrations effect the perceived, remaining differences between the speakers.
I am going to vote with the "no Audyssey MultEQ" side for these evaluations. Not saying that it does not have a place in 2-channel listening. My reasons are:
  • The time it would take. Every step added to the process has the potential to really slow us down. We have to take a pretty streamlined approach if we hope to get done in the two days we have to work with.
  • Data overload. We have to minimize our variables, or we simply cannot hope to keep our thoughts and impressions straight, even with extensive note taking.
  • In theory, MultEQ would have a tendency to make all the models sound the same, although it would never do so completely. It is the individual character of each design that we really hope to capture, and we see that as being the emphasis which would have the greatest overall value to readers.
  • Applying MultEQ is always an option in a given situation, and might be called for even with speakers of the type we will be evaluating. It seems that the delicate individuality of a speaker's design gets sacrificed in the process, though, a matter which should be considered before going that route. And finding that individual speaker character that really suits one's tastes is a big part of choosing speakers of this kind.
  • The balance of factors that creates a great soundstage, for instance, is likely to be disrupted by a process like MultEQ.
Quote:
Dwight Angus wrote: View Post
Looking forward to your review on speakers merits as I am considering a speaker upgrade. For me its movies 60% of the time vs 40% music. I have a SVS 9.2 setup and interested in your SVS Ultra findings as I am considering a speaker upgrade.
As a suggestion try AIX digital uncompressed audio. The recordings allow for either 2 channel or multi channel setup 24/96. I have several recordings and really enjoy them.
Your evaluation is a great opportunity for me to narrow my choices for my future speaker upgrade.
Many thanks
There are some fine hi-res recording formats to be considered for future evaluation events. It will take some homework to determine how best to incorporate them.

Quote:
goyop wrote: View Post
Hey guys,

Great idea on the comparison and also for making it fun. No doubt you had lengthy discussions on how to go about these tests and what equipment to use. There is no perfect setup for subjective listening but you have come up with a very respectable scheme. It will be very interesting to hear the different opinions on the various test systems. I want to see if there are any hands down winners and how individual preferences come into play.

One note of caution - it is possible to fatigue your ears. If you guys are partying every night and watching awesome movies on awesome systems it definitely can impact your hearing sensitivity. There are OSHA charts that show how long a person can be exposed to different SPL levels before there is temporary or permanent damage. So if you guys are sitting around listening at 100 db there is a time period after which your temporary hearing ability will be diminished. I have worked in studios and live sound and it is a real issue.

Good luck and we will all be waiting to see the results.
Greg
Your point on ear fatigue is well taken, and we appreciate the concern. As Sonnie has said, our partying extends about as far as a second glass of lemonade or iced tea with dinner, or maybe a caffeinated soda to help stay awake through the last half of a movie. Beyond our audio and home theater interests, we are a pretty boring bunch.

While the individual listener in the LP controls his own volume, I can assure you that the average SPL level is usually in the 85 to 90 dB range, below that a fair amount of the time, occasionally bumped up into the 90 to 95 dB range for impact, but not for more than 20 seconds or so at a time. I doubt it ever gets to 100 dB average, that is louder than any of us like to listen.

We take frequent breaks, and get plenty of rest & sleep.

Thanks for the reminder, though, it is definitely a priority that we keep our ears and brains working at their peak through the weekend and beyond.

Quote:
Savjac wrote: View Post
DIY - I just finished what I feel to be one of the best speakers I have ever heard in my, or another persons listening room. I made the cabinet and zoebel but the speaker is original. An 8" Tang Band W-8-1772 in a 30 liter box that runs full range and just nails it. While it will not go too loud, say above 85db too easily and it does not have great bass, I use 2 Velodyne subs with these speakers run in stereo, so they are essentially full range.

The things just work, musical, dynamic, spaciality for days all the while laying bare everything in a recording. I have not heard such detail and mesmerizing yet emotional reproduction of music since the old Quads were with me. I still have to paint or laminate the cabinets, but I cannot stop listening. Small tube amp or several hundred watts per channel out of a SS amp, I think I have found a little part of sonic nirvana. When finished anyone is welcome to listen or place in the sound off, I believe they are that good. Better in many ways that my Martin Logans....yep true.
Sure wish I was in the neighborhood to get by and hear them. There is something to be said for the simplicity of the single-driver design in the right cabinet. Sounds like you nailed it. I will have to make a note of your driver choice for future possible DIY reference.
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post #338 of 1075 Old 10-24-13, 11:09 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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KiddLawson wrote: View Post
but when you get right down to it, isn't the actual output sound subjective to the listener. I used to have a very inexpensive theater-in- a-box and loved the center channel so much I used it for years with my pro set of speakers. My friends used to give me a hard time until they heard the center speaker. Some liked it better some didn't.
That is true, if your happy with what you have then that's the main objective. I can say though if you do try out some higher end speakers many do sound amazing. My experience with speakers is that quality does improve as you go up in price to a point, once you hit a certain level the price to quality starts to diminish.
My opinion is that The sweet spot for speaker price and sound quality tends to be in the $1500- $5000 range.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #339 of 1075 Old 10-24-13, 11:45 AM
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There are so many good speaker options out there that it's tough see a direct comparison of a specific two or three that you're interested in. That's why these multi speaker comparisons are so valuable, they add more data to the field and give some more impressions for us to sift through. And I especially appreciate this kind with several reviewers at once so you can get a better idea of the tastes involved in the comments.

I'm sure everyone has a dream set (including DIY) that they would like to see, I know I do, but if HTS makes this a regular event, we're bound to see some good DIY options reviewed.

- OJ -
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post #340 of 1075 Old 10-24-13, 12:03 PM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

Yeah, I agree. I had a set of Klipsch that I had to sell back in the day and I so wish I had them back! At this point in my life, I have to prioritize my responsibilities with my hobby. As you said, the sweet spot is in that higher-end price point. The lower-end stuff is all over the map as far as sound and quality so I have to spend a lot of time comparing each speaker in order to get the right one for the money I have. As the lady of the house allows, I will get back up there!
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