The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event - Page 25 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #241 of 267 Old 03-17-14, 12:06 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

This excellent exercise (thankfully not a juvenile shootout format) validates in spades my view that virtually all competently designed & built speakers today are 'similarly good'. Some enthusiasts out there detest that notion & phrase but that is exactly what I found when I auditioned a bunch of brands & models before I finally settled on my Axioms. I could have easily lived with any of the units that I heard.

It's nice to see that common sense can still prevail in some places such as HTS.

Well done guys...

TAM
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post #242 of 267 Old 03-19-14, 01:31 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

Quote:
This excellent exercise (thankfully not a juvenile shootout format) validates in spades my view that virtually all competently designed & built speakers today are 'similarly good'. Some enthusiasts out there detest that notion & phrase but that is exactly what I found when I auditioned a bunch of brands & models before I finally settled on my Axioms. I could have easily lived with any of the units that I heard.
I've been to a few high end shows, where I assume the great majority of the speakers were competently designed and built. Given this, it was clear to me that speakers in the $3000 ballpark generally were not 'similarly good' to speakers costing ten times that amount. Sure, given my budget I could settle with the lower priced speakers; but even the word "settle" connotes an attitude which is quite different than a "gotta have it!" feeling. In the former one sifts through speaker options which appear 'similarly good'. In the latter one is captivated by a particular speaker's presentation, especially for the price. Both scenarios of course are relative to to one's own ears, experience and preference (and certainly room and equipment). This makes life more interesting and might veer us away from an absolutist viewpoint.

A big thank you to all the evaluators for the time and care taken for an illuminating evaluation process! I learned much from it.

Mark
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post #243 of 267 Old 03-19-14, 02:43 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

I think these evaluations have helped us understand what to expect from a speaker at a certain price point. Beyond that I think it has proven that placement & room treatments really bring any speaker to its best showing.

Hoping to see the bookshelf speaker eval soon!

Great job guys!
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post #244 of 267 Old 03-19-14, 03:04 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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Tonto wrote: View Post
I think these evaluations have helped us understand what to expect from a speaker at a certain price point. Beyond that I think it has proven that placement & room treatments really bring any speaker to its best showing.

Hoping to see the bookshelf speaker eval soon!

Great job guys!
I would also like to read about a bookshelf evaluation.
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post #245 of 267 Old 03-19-14, 05:41 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

Mark:

I admit that when I was shopping for speakers, I did not audition speakers in the $30K range. Even though I could afford to buy up in that range, it wouldn't have been a very efficient use of my time checking them out as spending that much on speakers is just not logical to me. Within the reasonable price range that I explored, 'similarly good' was indeed valid.

As I've gotten older (matured?), the 'gotta have it feeling' doesn't strike me very often anymore. Thankfully, common sense prevails now...

TAM
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post #246 of 267 Old 03-19-14, 06:25 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

I think you are in the same place as many of us, exlabdriver. While I could afford any of the speakers that we evaluated, my decision comes down to deciding at what price can I get the enjoyment out of the listening that I want. While I am intrigued with the subtle improvements beyond that, I don't feel the need to spend that much. It is fun to experience it, however, and it gives new perspective to the lower priced products. I hope that we have shared something valuable that allows others to experience the speakers through our ears and eyes to some degree. If others gain some enjoyment from what we do, gain some perspective that is useful, or learn about some products that they want to seek out and experience themselves, I am satisfied that the effort is worth it. If not, it is a weekend where the four of us share some fun and each other's company.

I think it is likely that we will do the bookshelf comparisons, next, and my preference is for the high value price ranges of $500 and under first. This is a product class that many people buy in and where solid reviews might be really useful.

Looking for me, just google my username. I have used the same one for most sites for many years.
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post #247 of 267 Old 03-19-14, 08:50 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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exlabdriver wrote: View Post
Mark:

I admit that when I was shopping for speakers, I did not audition speakers in the $30K range. Even though I could afford to buy up in that range, it wouldn't have been a very efficient use of my time checking them out as spending that much on speakers is just not logical to me. Within the reasonable price range that I explored, 'similarly good' was indeed valid.

As I've gotten older (matured?), the 'gotta have it feeling' doesn't strike me very often anymore. Thankfully, common sense prevails now...

TAM
I can relate TAM, not in affording speakers in the 30K range but rather being relatively free of the 'gotta have it' feeling. (That's a phrase used as a summary evaluation of great products at a certain other AV website.) I actually love window shopping, listening to incredible speakers at shows. Very fun and informative. I full well know what I'm missing out on, but at the same time I don't have to own it to appreciate the stuff.

Alternatively I know there there is a certain very fine satisfaction owning great value speakers which you know are getting you 80 percent of the way 'there' compared to speakers costing ten times as much and which get you 95 percent there. Right now I've got budget speakers which get me perhaps 50 percent of the way there, and which satisfied for a while, but I want to get to the 80 percent mark, which to me are speakers in the 1K to 3K range. My sweet spot for value is shifting ...

Mark

PS I cringe at quantifying things like 50 or 80 percent on something so varied and qualitative, but you get the idea.
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post #248 of 267 Old 03-19-14, 09:49 PM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

Mark:

I thought that the phrase 'Gotta Have It' was familiar, ha!

Since I live on Vancouver Island, far away from large urban areas, I never have the opportunity to go to the trade shows so I'm restricted to what the local AV Dealers have in stock. Actually, some of their product is quite nice & pricey. On the other hand, perhaps that is an advantage as I really don't know what I'm missing by not experiencing the high end stuff!

My 3 sets of Axioms (1 x HT, 2 x audio only sets - 1 SS & 1 Tube Amp driven) throughout my house provide me & my wife with great pleasure & I think they present really good performance for what they cost me while I acquired therm over the past couple of years...

TAM
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post #249 of 267 Old 03-20-14, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

That "Gotta Have It" bug really does infect different listeners in intriguing ways. Interesting that for most mortals there is usually some value or bang for buck element to it even though the actual expenditure limitation can be much higher, and a satisfaction in achieving a high Bang/Buck ratio. This is very much in evidence with loudspeakers, a more personal audio equipment choice than most.

The speakers in the price range evaluated offered so much that I have a hard time ever seeing myself owning a pair with an MSRP much higher than that range. As we have said before, the best audible driver/technology choices are there and a great deal of what you see in the higher-priced differences is more or bigger drivers for deeper bass and higher volume levels.

Having heard a number of $10K+ speakers at audio shows, some mighty fine sounding specimens, the sonic gains beyond the $3K bracket were not huge, in many cases were hardly worth mentioning, and our experience says those differences could have been mostly due to room and setup anyway.

Then there are several standout examples from even lower price brackets we have evaluated that push the Bang/Buck envelope even farther. The Arx A5 keep getting mentioned as leaders in that category. A couple of A5 owners have said they are "done looking," hear all or most of what they want to at an incredible Bang/Buck point.
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post #250 of 267 Old 03-20-14, 09:23 AM
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Re: The Official $3,000 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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Then there are several standout examples from even lower price brackets we have evaluated that push the Bang/Buck envelope even farther. The Arx A5 keep getting mentioned as leaders in that category. A couple of A5 owners have said they are "done looking," hear all or most of what they want to at an incredible Bang/Buck point.
Yep I have a pair of A5s and they do everything I want. I actually went from more expensive Axioms to cheaper but "similarly" good Arx speakers. I would say the Arx A5 is "similarly" good to many other brands more expensive models, like Axioms M60HP at more than double the cost but its "similarly" good at $798. Its great that the discussion is about $3k tower speakers but the $800 Arx A5 keeps getting mentioned.
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