The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event - Page 86 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #851 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 08:55 PM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

good job to the panel and everyone involved including Mark Seaton and the wifes and families that had to endure and sacrifice. the write ups are top notch, informative, fun and unbiased. i think i was surprised by some of your findings in your evaluations.

have you guys considered contacting the manufactures so they could make their own comments or observations to your assesments?

Dynaudio Focus 260, Focus 210C, DM2/6
Marantz SR7007, NaimUniti2, Pro-ject 2xperience, Naim Stageline N
Oppo BDP-103, Hsu VTF2.4 subwoofer
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post #852 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

Jim Salk? I was not aware of his presence, although it might be nice to have him stop in with a pair of his speakers.

The manufacturers are aware of the event... not sure if they will comment, although one representative for a manufacturer made a comment somewhere in this thread... simply to compliment what we were doing.

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post #853 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 09:20 PM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

oops, edited..

Dynaudio Focus 260, Focus 210C, DM2/6
Marantz SR7007, NaimUniti2, Pro-ject 2xperience, Naim Stageline N
Oppo BDP-103, Hsu VTF2.4 subwoofer
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post #854 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 09:32 PM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
It was funny to see the trends, and none of them ever pointed it our, either.
That's what the Toole/Olive research was looking for: trends. They wanted to find out which qualities were consistently preferred (and not preferred) when listeners didn't know which speakers they were listening to, which is what I described in my previous post.

BTW, those tests represent some of the most comprehensive large-scale studies done on speaker design. At the end of 3 years, 50 speakers and almost 300 listeners, the results weren't a random distribution but instead pointed to very specific qualities. Even people who claimed to prefer speakers that were voiced a certain way ended up not choosing those designs under blind conditions.
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Preferring the flat sound myself, I hear people talk about a speaker as dry or boring or sterile or clinical and think, "sounds perfect!"
By "flat on-axis response" I meant when measured anechoically. Those same speakers will have a downward tilted response in-room.
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Just funning with you, of course.
Same here.

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post #855 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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oops, edited..
Mark will appreciate that.

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post #856 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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That's what the Toole/Olive research was looking for: trends. They wanted to find out which qualities were consistently preferred (and not preferred) when listeners didn't know which speakers they were listening to, which is what I described in my previous post.

BTW, those tests represent some of the most comprehensive large-scale studies done on speaker design. At the end of 3 years, 50 speakers and almost 300 listeners, the results weren't a random distribution but instead pointed to very specific qualities. Even people who claimed to prefer speakers that were voiced a certain way ended up not choosing those designs under blind conditions. By "flat on-axis response" I meant when measured anechoically. Those same speakers will have a downward tilted response in-room.
The problem I would have with this telling me anything useful would be the listening position in relation to the speaker placement.

If the listeners were simply asked to tell what they liked best in six different positions and the majority picked the speakers with particular characteristics... I might do the same for those positions. However, that does not mean it is the sound I want... it was merely the best sound I heard in that given test. I might not be able to tell the difference between several of them, but that does not mean I like the sound I am hearing.

I would want to be blind-folded and have the speaker moved around, preferably starting with the Cardas recommendations and going from there. Let me pick which I like best. Bring in the next set and do the same. The speakers are going to sound their best in different locations. Testing them all in the same location does me absolutely no good... tells me absolutely nothing of use because they are not in their best location.

Just because they were able to determine trends based on what people preferred, does not mean that is the sound they would prefer over a properly placed speaker and a proper listening position in a given room.

Am I making any sense? I am not sure if I am explaining what I am thinking in the proper words.

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post #857 of 1075 Old 11-17-13, 11:04 PM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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Closing Thanks and Appreciation!

This completes our first round of $2,500 speaker evaluations... although we will probably bump the second round to $3,000 (2,500 - 3,500). More on this later.
Last but certainly not least... we appreciate our readers and members, along with your comments. We truly hope you have enjoyed it and that it has been and will be a great reference tool for you in your search for the perfect speakers in your room. Please always keep in mind that NOTHING can replace the need for you to hear these speakers for yourself to make a final decision. Your ears are ultimately the most important ones to help you select the right speakers for you.
Thanks again guys! .. Was totally psyched to hear your impressions of the speakers. Especially of the Paradigms and the SVS Towers. I personally thought the Ultra's were fantastic for home theater at the demo I saw - perhaps they are better suited to that purpose? .. I've always been a fan of Paradigms as well, and will start keeping my eyes open for the Studio 60's over the next year or so just in case a pair pops up. Sonnie's glowing recommendation as well as my previous experience with Paradigm as certainly piqued my curiosity. Thanks again fella's! ... I'll look forward to your next shoot out!.
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post #858 of 1075 Old 11-18-13, 01:21 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

Wow, we finally got it all posted. Whew!

Final observations have been added to Post number 9 at the beginning of this thread.

Check it out here

Topics covered:

General Observations & Summing Up

Room Modes and Common Themes

Why The Speakers with the Flat High End Sounded Too Bright

Three Critical Tools

Abolish Home Theater Stages

Speaker Setup Methods

Too Many Test Tracks?

In Praise of Five Loudspeaker Designers

Should We Be Reported As Loudspeaker Abusers?

P.S. THANK YOU!
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post #859 of 1075 Old 11-18-13, 01:25 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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I was using the flashlight trick until I got a laser, now I am spoiled, as I can get it dead on... and even a few degrees different toe can make a slight difference between each speakers response. I start with the flashlight trick to get them fairly close, but then I place the laser on the side of the speaker and aim it back at the listening position and at the back wall just above the listening position, with all things being symmetrical, I can get them deal equal on toe-in.
Thanks for this info. I'm going to have to try the laser pointer with my ML's. Thanks for the diagram too.
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post #860 of 1075 Old 11-18-13, 02:39 AM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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The problem I would have with this telling me anything useful would be the listening position in relation to the speaker placement.

If the listeners were simply asked to tell what they liked best in six different positions and the majority picked the speakers with particular characteristics... I might do the same for those positions. However, that does not mean it is the sound I want... it was merely the best sound I heard in that given test. I might not be able to tell the difference between several of them, but that does not mean I like the sound I am hearing.

I would want to be blind-folded and have the speaker moved around, preferably starting with the Cardas recommendations and going from there. Let me pick which I like best. Bring in the next set and do the same. The speakers are going to sound their best in different locations. Testing them all in the same location does me absolutely no good... tells me absolutely nothing of use because they are not in their best location.

Just because they were able to determine trends based on what people preferred, does not mean that is the sound they would prefer over a properly placed speaker and a proper listening position in a given room.

Am I making any sense? I am not sure if I am explaining what I am thinking in the proper words.
You nailed it as far as I am concerned, and pointed out exactly the problem I have with the way studies like this are usually referred to. A study is set up with a set of assumptions and goals - has to be or it would be infinitely unmanageable - and when it is done, a set of conclusions is presented, usually (if done with integrity) relative to those assumptions (but not always - funny how scientists with salaries & sponsors & mortgages can end up with agendas, too). From that point forward, people (that's us) tend to forget the original limiting assumptions and state the conclusions as universal truths. No doubt those often-referred-to studies have some great insights in the original context, but they are so often quoted with no regard for context and assumptions that they have become next to meaningless in general use (my opinion), and that is really a disservice to the original work.

No disrespect meant to the OP on the topic, just pointing out that we need to consider context when we refer to studies, quotes, laws, theories, myth-busting pronouncements - almost anything that sounds like a sweeping generalization is probably leaving out a whole lot of important background info.
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