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post #821 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 12:53 AM
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It is very interesting to follow this thread and one thing that continues to gain mention is comparison to the A5 from the $1000 round.

What I wonder is, is audio memory playing a factor in just how good the A5s were here?

The general impression being recieved is that the A5s are all one needs and more expense does not equate to better sound, just a better finish.

While not directly in reference to this, the comment about tapering praise (I think "comments" was the actual wording) on the A5s less the price increase was what highlighted this impression. Just a perspective from reading along I thought I'd share
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post #822 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 01:24 AM
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I've been a Paradigm fan for 7-8 years now, and the Studio 60 review was exactly what I was expecting from them

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post #823 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 01:49 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

I have no doubt that $600 Ascend 340s would best the Studios by unanimous decision, but it just comes down to what other speakers were being tested at the time. Clearly the Emeralds and Maggies had some issues, and Dyns have always been "almost good enough" in my experience. I have not heard the SVS though, and am curious to read it's evaluation.

If this group does do a round 2, the Ascend towers with the ribbon tweeter and the Philharmonics would be more robust competition. Noesis 208s would be awesome too
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post #824 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 02:10 AM
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Noesis 208s would be awesome too
Seconded on the JTR Noesis 228HTs
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post #825 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 07:50 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

Nice work on this thread, i really like comparisons like this. I am espescially curious about the SVS ultra speakers since i`m currently running on their old S-series (7.1) combined with the PB13 Ultra sub.

I Was thinking about replacing my front speakers to match the quality of my sub lol.
I find the towers and center from the S-series severely lacking for music.
I`m a bit torn atm between bookshelves and towers since i already have massive bass with my pb13 ultra.

Anyways looking forward to the review of the ultra`s
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post #826 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 08:15 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
From your list, I would say that optimizing each speaker in the room has been the biggest key to our success, with all other speakers removed and variables minimized being an important part of that. Then quality amplification and sources would be next. The well-treated room is certainly a factor, not disagreeing with your point about relative importance of first arrival and "quality of ambient arrivals" - I believe you were implying that a balance is desired, no?
The principle of optimizing each speaker in the space ties to the importance of the space. While I've hear some amazing sound in some amazingly bad spaces, which I mentioned, naturally that combination isn't sought. It just happens.

But if optimizing each system in its space is as key as it's assumed, we could intuit that we should treat the dickens out of that space.

Which is to say, to nullify it. Thinking a little further we see that this sets up another principle: Reflected sound is bad.

That then evolves into or revolves around another whole set of principles - especially in uncritical consumer and some home theater circles - which is that list I mentioned upthread. The common end result may be a fairly uninvolving, amusical sound.

This is where balance comes into play: We know spaces are important (and this event just proved it). But spaces absolutely do not need to be nullified. In fact, they must not be. Experience has taught that it's actually easier to over-treat a room than it is to get a stereo system to sound good in a typical space.

Previously an A5 pair fared less well in a heavily treated theater room with narrow side walls. Read: Little or no flexibility to orient the system for good sound. What fared well, naturally, were very high energy, directional, 80Hz monitors that, presumably, didn't "see" the space, didn't in themselves have to be balanced one octave deeper in response, and that had substantially higher levels on tap to re-compensate and re-drive this densely damped environment.

***

Someone once posited that just as some of us hear dynamically into electronics and sources, some of us hear primarily differences in the scale and static responses in the system that lend themselves to those differences: The speakers.

If you hear dynamically you'll hear electronic texture (grain, grit, distortions), image focus, transient behaviors, "jump factor", "slam", dynamics, and all the words sometimes disallowed by audio objectivists that describe the flavors every system has - that "connectedness" and "immediacy" you hear from what are considered fringe audiophiles also refer here - while static listeners hear the differences in frequency response, speaker size, loudness, dispersion, the effects of the room on the system, and so forth.

Naturally, this latter camp also relies more on classical theory and measurement. They cite amplitude more than just about anything and seem to feel that any deviation from amplitude linearity may just be an incompetent design, sometimes knowingly or even intentionally.

The former group tend to just listen, which accounts for how they describe what they're hearing: Subjectively and with lexicons borrowed from sight, flavor, and even touch. Transparent. Rich. Palpable.

It also accounts why they tend to find arcane factors in the engineering only after hearing them. Consider Marsh and Jung testing capacitors all the way back in 1980(?) and finding substantial differences. Work like this peppers the audio arts but since it does not lend itself to amplitude research, gets dismissed.

Getting back to your question: Notice that the Cardas method, which pulls the speakers well out into the space and sets them at calculated intervals in the space, does not call for treating the space. This does not mean spaces should be un-treated, but it also does not allow for spaces to be over-treated.

Balance is essential. It's just been my experience that "dynamical" hearers get much more from the first arrival than from the entire static response of the entire venue, system included. They hear the original system and do not let either plain theory or the space advise either their preconceptions or their sensory input.

Why do listeners favor the models they do in the HTS tests? I'd guess it may be that those designs are rooted in classic static and acoustical power theory but have a strong element of dynamic empiricism to advise their final tuning. They probably break no classical rules but are not mainly contingent on them either.

And reading the HTS analysis of various series of speakers, it's becoming clear that as far as balance goes, dynamic hearing is not an uncommon base of perception. I think that's fun.

(Static and dynamic listening theory attributes to Ingvar Ohman.)

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post #827 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 08:59 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

Quote:
Jon Lane wrote: View Post
But if optimizing each system in its space is as key as it's assumed, we could intuit that we should treat the dickens out of that space.

Which is to say, to nullify it. Thinking a little further we see that this sets up another principle: Reflected sound is bad.
To a very large degree, this comment points up the conflict between HT and stereo in general, and HT and stereo dipoles in particular. With HT (multi-channel), there are enough speakers to supply the directional cues for one's brain to map an acoustic space. As the speaker complement has continued to increase (from 5.1), even more realism is possible from a multi-channel setup. As such, it is best to clarify the direct sound by silencing the room's reflections. Stripping the playback from that system down to the pair of mains/fronts eliminates the additional sources of directional cues. Part of what makes a good dipole perform its disappearing act within a you-are-there sound stage is the way in which sufficiently delayed reflections are interpreted by our brains. A well engineered device is 'tuned' to its anticipated environment - a well engineered speaker should behave best in the acoustic space for which it is designed. As I stated earlier, this creates a situation in which conflicting demands are in play. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions in this pursuit.

The only area that isn't in conflict is the management of low frequency room behavior. To my thinking, that is an imperative, but passive treatments are but one avenue to success. It's a complicated game, this.
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post #828 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 09:12 AM
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Great post Jon!
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post #829 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 09:15 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

Quote:
Sonnie wrote: View Post
The Magnepan 1.7 review is now posted here.

Thanks for the review and awesome write up!

I never owned the bigger Maggies models, but was hoping they would offer more mid bass / lower as it does not seem like the case from what I read. The maggies I got to demo a long ways back at a local home-audio store was 3.7s and they were in a small room if I remember correctly 12'x16' and they were wonderful, but these are more expensive and bigger in size.


Looks like these were a disappointment though. Sorry to hear you guys were not a fan of them but glad I now can check-mark these off my wish list.
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post #830 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 09:21 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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I have no doubt that $600 Ascend 340s would best the Studios by unanimous decision, but it just comes down to what other speakers were being tested at the time. Clearly the Emeralds and Maggies had some issues, and Dyns have always been "almost good enough" in my experience. I have not heard the SVS though, and am curious to read it's evaluation.

If this group does do a round 2, the Ascend towers with the ribbon tweeter and the Philharmonics would be more robust competition. Noesis 208s would be awesome too

Philharmonics as of right now are the only ones I am keeping an eye on. I know there are speakers that sound great in your basic speaker cabinet boxes, but I am getting bored to my eyes looking at a basic tower cabinet. This is why I been wanting my next set of speakers to look more different and my eyes were set with hope the maggies & Emerals to be a hit, so far that is not the case. I mean we all have our ears to make the last call, but I feel these guys are telling it how it is. I do still want to try the Emerals cause I am stubborn like that, so these will probably be at my casa very soon; However I would love, love to see these guys take on the Philharmonics for a test drive and share with us. Oh maybe bring on the Tritons by GE! I am sure these could fullfill the 2-channel highs, mids and lows do to their powered subwoofer and they also share a different cabinet / box look with a little def-tech splash and then some .
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